~ By Dr. Keith Mathis
Project goals keep the focus on what is most important. However, on some teams these primary goals are lost in their meeting's activities. Make sure each meeting is structured so as to move the project forward. Even if the progress is only inches rather than by huge leaps, the team must be pushing the project forward as quickly, safely, and reasonably as possible.
Your goal should be to finish the project within the timeframe agreed upon. This means you must do everything possible to drive the project to the end and stay on time. Remember to avoid guessing and incompetence in the planning of the scope so as to have a reasonable time schedule with which to work.
Budgets are set by some project teams while others inherit them. Whether you set the budget or inherit it, you need to make sure you are doing your best to track your expenditures and know where the money is going. When you finish the project within the scheduled budget, you demonstrate your ability in running the project responsibly.
Unfortunately, when projects lag behind, quality is often sacrificed in order to catch up. Project leaders sometimes feel that in order to pick up speed, pieces of the project will need to be downsized or cut completely. True, the project plan will have to be revised when problems arise, but the revision should never compromise quality. While it is important to keep deadlines, it is equally important to keep the project's quality high throughout the project.
Make sure you are meeting the customer's needs. You must "wow" the customer! This can be done simply by finishing the project with the specifics the customer really wanted. The best way to solidify this is to verify your accomplishment by customer handoff and close down.
There is no such thing as a perfect project. Some projects run up against major odds and hurdles. For example, many recent projects in our country have endured major setbacks because of terror attacks, severe weather causing power outages, or a nation at war. Even against these catastrophes, projects were remarkably turned around and back on track because of great project team leaders and teams. Project goals were met because they did their best with what came their way.
Dr. Keith Mathis, founder and CEO of The Mathis Group specialises in Project Management, Management Leadership, and Marketing training for private businesses and government agencies of all kinds. He offers 33 Project Management courses, is a Project Management Professional, is certified by the Project Management Institute and will customise every training session to your individual company's needs. The Mathis Group also sponsors www.pmexpertlive.com which is a powerful project management resource with free reports, podcasts, videos, and a monthly newsletter. He also offers customised management training and coaching on any subject with prolific communication and professionalism.