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Tips and Reminders for Project Managers

~ By Duncan Haughey

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Here are my essential tips and reminders for those new to project management or hoping to enter the profession:

  • Project management has a definite beginning and end. It is not a continuous process.
  • A plan is not a project; it is a tool.
  • Thirty-five percent of projects get consumed in overheads and administration.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding before starting a project.
  • Projects must meet customer requirements, be on time and budget.
  • Always remember revision numbers and to check that all those involved in the project are using the same version of the project plan.
  • Know who's in the project environment and manage them.
  • Projects need good communication. Ensure that a suitable communications infrastructure exists.
  • Projects don't run without politics so control the politics.
  • Analyse the impact each of the players in a project might have.
  • Ask for the information you need to run a project well, for example, a weekly breakdown of costs and hours.
  • Keep the project momentum going.
  • Monitor and control any risks.
  • Ask how much money do I have, how much time and what deliverable is required.
  • Know what you own. Personal success factors are, for example, product fit for purpose and customer sign-off.
  • Agree with the customer the critical success factors for the project. These maybe just a few items from a long wish list. Deliver what the customer decides.
  • Project managers are rarely hands on with project tasks. The running of a project is work enough.
  • Manage, minimise and control.
  • Project failures will happen.
  • If there is anything to do, do it.

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