Effective project management hinges on a team’s ability to maintain clear and successful collaboration and communication. And vice versa, a team’s successful collaboration and communication can only be achieved by implementing effective project management.
6 Keys to Effective Project Management
Project management and communication go hand in hand, and in this article we’ll discuss the 6 keys that create a team culture that encourages both!
Key 1: Start with the End in Mind
You won’t know what steps to take to achieve your team goals if you don’t know which direction you’re heading. Starting with the end in mind when it comes to effective project management not only allows you to see the big picture, but it also gives you a starting point to reverse engineer your goals into actionable steps.
In project management, the end goal is typically the completion of a new product, a launch, an event, etc. Kick off any large company project by brainstorming the end result with the team and any stakeholders involved. This will ensure that collaboration and communication plays a key role from the beginning.
Key 2: Break Down the Tasks and Responsibilities
Breaking down the final product into tasks and responsibilities is the next key to making sure everyone involved is on the same page. Yes, it’s important for the entire team to know what tasks must be completed to reach the finished product, but knowing WHO will be responsible for each task is just as crucial.
In the section below, we’ll discuss choosing the right project management system to plug your game plan into. Among other features, being able to assign tasks and subtasks is one of them. This will be your first step to ensuring everyone knows the role they play.
Key 3: Choose the Right Project Management System
After the big picture has been established and the tasks have been broken down into daily actionable steps, it’s time to input all of the information into a simple project management system like Hello Ivy. Choosing the right system for effective project management is easy if you know the top project management tools and features to look for.
Here are some examples features that will keep your projects moving in the right direction:
A visual Kanban board
Variety of views like calendars, timelines, and daily tasks
Ability to upload documents and take notes
Tasks and subtask capabilities
Chat and discussion features
Not only will these features help your team prioritize tasks and meet deadlines, they will enhance your team collaborating seamlessly while getting closer to the finish line.
Key 4: Keep Open Communication
Communication, communication, communication! This is essentially the most important piece to any effective project management strategy. Whether you have a small team working on a project or cross-department collaboration, keeping an open line of communication is key. Ensure that your project management tools cultivate and encourage collaboration. See the list above in key #3 or check out the HelloIvy features!
It’s also not a bad idea to hold weekly or monthly meetings to talk about progress, discuss wins or shortcomings, identify bottlenecks, etc. Although your project management system should allow real-time communication, designated meetings will also keep your projects on track.
Key 5: Stay on Track, But Adapt When Necessary
When it comes to projects, staying on track to hitting your end result is the goal! But there will, of course, be times when adaptability will play a big role in effective project management. Even if you’ve done all of the proper planning and task management, unexpected events will likely happen such as role changes or business focus changes for instance.
So while you continue to charge toward your goals as a team, be sure to keep communication a priority through the ups, downs, and turns.
Key 6: Remain Focused on Progress (No Perfection)
The 6th key is to, no matter what, take action and make progress. There’s only so much planning that can take place before moving forward. And remember that perfection is not to be expected, and that’s okay. Your team will certainly perfect their processes in time and practice. So for now, it’s important that everyone involved remain on the same page with the idea that progress is the ultimate goal.
Head Straight to the Finish Line Together!
One of the most satisfying aspects of effective project management is that all of the effort and hard work gets you closer to a finished product. With an intense focus on communication and team collaboration, you’re on your way to reaching goals and impacting the bottom line of your business!
Effective Project Management FAQ
What leadership qualities are needed for effective project management?
Whether you’re a CEO, COO, or Project Manager of a business, developing the leadership skills required for effective project management is a no-brainer. You are leading a team with the common goal of completing projects successfully and on-time! You are in the people business, so it’s important that you possess basic leadership skills.
Here are some skills that will help:
People skills - Project management usually requires working with teams, and if you’re leading a team as a project manager, having good people skills and communication skills will help you develop a team that works well together.
Flexibility - Expect the unexpected in project management! To be a good leader, being flexible is key.
Organizational skills - This goes without saying. Project management is a process of organizing people, tasks, deadlines, and more, so being organized is essential.
Strategic - Along with being organized, it’s also helpful to have an analytical and strategic mind in order to piece the puzzle of project management together.
Creative and Outside-of-the-box thinker - Sometimes being a leader means getting creative. This is especially true if you’re working for square one with a small business or a start-up company.
Lead by example - Leaders always lead by example! Although delegation is important as a manager, so is getting out on the playing field with your team. Stay involved and don’t manage from “above.”
Trusting and trustworthy - Project managers must trust their team in order to avoid micro management (which is no one’s favorite). Likewise, it’s also vital that they earn the trust of their team!
How does effective project management impact collaboration and communication?
Collaboration and communication can be done without effective project management. But, it’s possible heading down this road will hinder your progress in completing your projects in a timely manner. Sure, teams can email back and forth, have excessive “check-in” meetings (that probably aren’t necessary), and cultivate micro management as a result, but that’s only going to lead to exhausted and frustrated employees.
With that being said, having the right project management tools will encourage effortless communication that ultimately leads to seamless collaboration.
Why should businesses focus on effective project management?
Businesses are built on the foundation of project management. In other words, they are built on a string of daily tasks, special projects (i.e. an event or new product launch), and standard operating procedures. So project management, whether poorly executed or exceedingly well, can make or break your business.