Project management in work and life

Project management in work and life

Why be able to manage projects

Project management is a fundamental skill. Projects are not only our work, but also our personal life. Whether building a cottage, organizing a trip, or buying groceries for dinner, we manage projects without even thinking about it.

There is always a customer and an executor in a project. When you do something for yourself, you combine these roles. Customers can be both internal and external, but the basic principles of interaction are always preserved.

“A” is the starting point of the project. Any project should begin with the correct formulation of the task. The result for which the performer is responsible depends on the setting and understanding of the task. It is important to hear the very need with which the customer came to you, and interpret it into a task statement. Requesting the necessary materials and asking a sufficient number of questions for a high-quality result is the area of ​​responsibility of the performer. The statement of the task is the formulation of the benefit and the way to achieve it in specific terms. The benefit must be formulated in the world of the customer, not in the world of the executor. The final statement of the task should be agreed with the customer to make sure that you understand each other correctly. The identified useful action in the project will be a reliable tool for constructive dialogue and making the right decisions.

“B” in the project is work done. To do ≠ to do. For the customer, the result is either there or it is not. The path from point “A” to point “B” exists only in the world of the performer. If you are a professional and value your reputation, then your criteria for work should be higher than the customer’s. The work cannot be done badly, even if it suits the client or he does not immediately notice. To do ≠ to pass, to do is to really do, to launch a quality project on time and bring benefits.

So you have an articulated benefit and an ideal plan to achieve it. What can go wrong? 😀

Everything did not go according to plan

In the process of any project, reality will inevitably begin to diverge from the original plan. The task turns out to be not so simple, new and new obstacles are constantly encountered on the way. Underestimation of the task, overestimation of one’s own strength, unforeseen external circumstances, other people’s incompetence, forced downtime… Gradually it becomes obvious that the whole trick is in danger and, if something is done urgently, it will be a complete failure.

You don’t have time for anything, it seems that if you had more time, everything would work out. Sometimes they sacrifice most often, it is easy to add it, but this is the worst option. Postponing the project launch date leads to the loss of its relevance. Prolonged business projects will be destroyed by competition, and a cake ready the day after the holiday does not make any sense. Adding time leads to utopian attempts to do it perfectly, inflated expectations of the result, fear and endless postponement of the launch. Time is an irreparable resource.

Sometimes increasing the budget can solve some of the problems. Yes, money is a complementary resource, but it is not easily given and you need to spend a lot of precious time to earn it. Committing additional resources complicates project management and can lead to a situation where it is easier to start over. Going beyond the budget reduces the feasibility of the project or may lead to losses for all participants.

Sacrifice quality?

Low quality makes the project pointless, causes only negativity and damages the reputation, which needs to be earned for a long time and can be quickly lost.

The most adequate method to launch a problematic project on time without losing quality and increasing the budget is to cut functionality. Understanding the primary benefit that we must articulate at the beginning of the project allows us to preserve key functionality and adjust secondary functionality. When you launch a project on time, you test ideas and get invaluable feedback, and gradually adding minor details will create positivity. Simplify the implementation, reduce the depth of processing, deviate from the ideal, look for another implementation, but achieve the ultimate goal.

How not to lead to avral

How not to bring projects to a state of avral and painful reduction of functionality?

To begin with, it is important to recognize that it is impossible to come up with a perfect plan and take everything into account. It is a mistake to expect that the project can go according to plan. A project plan is a straight line from point A to point B, but unforeseen circumstances will always derail you, delay you, push you back.

Break the plan into stages with tangible milestones. Develop and agree with the customer on the strategy for further development, supplementing the formulation of the main benefit with interesting and bold ideas for the future. Having a strategy and waypoints in your plan will keep you from straying too far from the general direction of travel. Remember that the achievement of the goal is more important than the mindless execution of a preconceived sequence of actions. Adjust your strategy as you progress.

It is important to understand that most of the right decisions are made during startup and debugging. What many are accustomed to count and pass off as a result, in fact will be only the middle of the road. A racing car is not ready when it is first assembled, but only after test runs, breakdowns, bug fixes and improvements. First, build startup and patch time into your plan.

If you completed a stage of work faster than the initial estimate, submit it immediately. This will help save time for the more difficult parts of the project.

Discuss progress throughout the project so that expectations do not diverge from the outcome. Personalize everything you do. Live communication allows you to immediately remove many questions and objections, avoid misunderstandings, negativity and additional labor costs. Based on constructive comments, try to find solutions and fix agreements right at the meeting. In this case, you will not have to spend extra time after the meeting, the client will know what to expect, and you will know what to do.

Improve your project management skills, it will have a tangible impact on your work and personal life. Come up with your own methods, consider what is worth taking up, and what is better to abandon.

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