In a volatile and saturated market, the quality of service and products is not the only factor that determines the success of your organization. Delivering them before the deadline is another one, which is equally, if not more, important.
Using collaborative project management is just one on the long list of things you can do to keep your projects on track. Here are all the effective methods to meet your project deadlines all the time.
Use the Right Project Collaboration Software
Not all project management tools are the same. To foster collaboration with your project teams, you have to empower them with a tool which has easy to use collaboration features.
Project collaboration software will help you streamline communication efforts with both your in-house and remote teams, start discussions about the tasks at hand, and be able to receive actionable feedback from anyone at any given time.
Look for features such as project calendars, a notifications system, chat, and discussion boards to make sure that your future project management tool has everything you need to take collaboration to the next level.
Devise Elaborate Project Plans
Project planning is vital for any project’s success. But how to add that effective aspect to this action? Well, what most managers forget to take into account when working on project plans are risks, or devising risk management plans.
You should know that it is likely that something is going to go south, and if you haven’t planned for it, all your efforts will be rendered inefficient. Make sure to assess all the risks and clearly define your responses in those situations.
In order to increase efficiency, make sure to keep tabs on your risk management strategy and keep it updated since risk factors may vary over time.
Make a List of Available Resources
Making a list of available resources is another item on our list. If you forget to do it, you can get in trouble when you see a project trending over a deadline. Knowing which of the critical paths is late won’t help you if you don’t know which resources you can reallocate to speed things up without affecting any other task.
If resource reallocation is going to delay some tasks, make sure to check if it’s going to affect the critical path. You have to take all factors into consideration to fine tune your project schedule and meet the project deadline.
To be able to identify dependencies, you really have to know the projects you are managing inside and out. If one of the dependent activities is not finished on time, it is going to affect all other activities down the line and inevitably delay them.
One of the common mistakes in this phase is labeling some of the activities as dependent even if they are not. These, so called invalid dependencies will provide you with false impression as to what to prioritize. This is why your entire team should collaborate when dependencies are being identified and put in the project plan and schedule.
When it comes to effective methods to keep projects on track, time tracking shouldn’t be forgotten. The latest project collaboration software solutions comes with a built in time tracking feature to enable everyone on the project to be more efficient. Combined with a notification feature, this functionality will keep you informed if something, or someone, is running behind schedule.
In order to bring the entire team on-board with the time tracking idea, make sure to consult them about how long will each of the tasks take. Then you can set a timer for each task and track the overall project progression. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to delivering results on, if not, before time.
Identify and Oversee Time-Constrained Activities
Some of the project tasks will take the same amount of time to be completed no matter how many resources and assets you allocate to them. These tasks are time-constrained tasks. Why do you need to identify and keep constant tabs on these?
First, you need to identify them because they will shape your project time-frame, and secondly, in most cases, these activities will be the main ones in your project’s critical path which demands constant overseeing.
Take Care of Project Documentation
Fortunately, with project collaboration software in your hands, you won’t have to worry about piles of project documentation stored in dozens of cabinets across entire organization. Having all project documentation stored in one location is not only practical, but also efficient.
What’s more important, it can help you meet deadlines. Thanks to the history of changes and document read/write permissions, your team can freely collaborate on them with no risk whatsoever that any of the older inputs can be lost.
Track Progress in Real Time
Another effective method to meet your project deadlines all the time is to track progress in real time. We know that it can become challenging to do so, especially when one has to manage several projects at once.
But with collaborative project management software, this becomes really easy, as you can oversee all your projects from a single screen.
Review Reports Every Day
Use the last minutes of your work day to review project reports. These reports may hold valuable and actionable information about the fine tunes you can do to ensure the success of your project execution strategy.
If you are familiar with project management software, then you must know that project reports are generated in a few clicks, and that they hold data that can be represented as both tables and data visuals.
We hope that these 9 effective methods will help you become better at project management. As you can see, meeting deadlines is not easy and one has to possess many skills and tools to be as efficient as possible.