You wouldn’t be here now if you weren’t looking to be the best project manager you can be. So we thought we’d make your job a little easier by curating a list of our favorite project management tips and techniques, with some templates and examples to get you started!
Here are 13 best practices for project management we recommend.
Want project stakeholders to feel peachy about the project’s final outcome? Document all the features, functions, and tasks that must be completed to tie a big red bow around your project. That way you can put a plan in place that ensures project goals get met. Use this free template to capture project requirements.
Project estimation can feel like one big guessing game. But it doesn’t have to. Lean on these 3 resources to help you estimate projects more accurately.
A project brief acts as an agreement with your stakeholders on project objectives, scope, deliverables, milestones, timing, activities, process, and even resources needed to deliver your product. Use it to set clear expectations and gain buy-in on the front end and to help prevent scope creep and guide decisions once the project launches. This project brief template is a great place to start.
Building a solid plan is probably the most important thing you do as a project manager because it maps out the steps everyone needs to take to bring the project home on time and on budget. Here are a few quick tips we recommend:
For even more project planning best practices, check out our Guide to Project Planning.
Your project will lose momentum fast if your team is overloaded with too many tasks, and that can put you at risk of missing important deadlines. Before you set your plan in stone, be sure you’ve taken the full resource allocation picture into account. In TeamGantt, you can check team availability before assigning tasks to be sure you’re not adding work to an already full plate.
Complex projects can get confusing quickly, so it’s important to lay out who’s doing what, preferably for each project task. That’s where a RACI chart comes in. This simple matrix enables you to assign the following roles and responsibilities:
Good communication is the heart and soul of any successful project. As the project manager, it’s your job to facilitate communication every step of the way. You also need to be prepared to raise a flag at the first whiff of trouble, even if it means a tough conversation.
Here are 2 project management resources you can use to keep information flowing effectively:
In TeamGantt, your team can stay in sync by posting task updates and uploading project files to the Discussion tab.
Project management is not a set-it-and-forget-it business. You’ve got to be the eyes on the prize, making sure everything progresses according to plan.
TeamGantt’s Project Health Report gives you a quick snapshot of all your projects so you can see what’s running on schedule, what’s falling behind, and what’s already overdue. That way you can shore up the gaps and adjust the plan to ensure your project still hits the mark.
If a task is running behind or has already missed the deadline, simply click Request progress update at the top of the task edit window to send the person assigned to the task a friendly reminder to update their progress.
Every project comes with risk. The trick is to get ahead of it so you can formulate a plan for mitigating it. A risk assessment matrix enables you to identify all the things that could go wrong and calculate the potential damage. That makes it easy to prioritize issues and take action where it’s needed most to keep your project on course.
Every project has constraints. If project scope gets out of hand, your budget and timeline will feel the pinch. Keep your project brief close so you can refer stakeholders back to the original scope if new requests pop up after a project’s underway. An honest chat about trade-offs can go a long way in taming scope creep. If the scope does shift, update the project plan and communicate the changes to everyone on the project.
When a project crosses the finish line, it’s easy to jump right into the next one without ever looking back. But taking time to discuss what went well and what didn’t with your team can help you tackle issues together and uncover opportunities to make that project life better for everyone. Capture all your ideas and action items with this project post-mortem meeting template.
A process that fits like a bad suit can keep your team from reaching its full project potential. So pay attention to how work gets done, and experiment with your process until you and your team hit your stride. Agile may work well for some projects, while others thrive on Waterfall.
If all else fails, forge your own process path with a blended project management approach. Here’s an example of how you might use a gantt chart to run an Agile sprint.
As a project manager, technical chops matter—but leadership skills really make you shine. Look for opportunities to grow as a leader so you can gain positive influence and set a solid foundation of trust among your team and stakeholders. With TeamGantt’s online video course The Art & Science of Leading Projects, you can learn at your own pace—and it’s totally free!
With these project management best practices under your belt, you’re ready to grab projects by the horn and steer them to success. 💪
Of course, you don’t have to wrangle it all on your own.
With TeamGantt, you can plan, track, and manage every project with ease. Watch the video below to see how TeamGantt works, and give our online project management software a free try today!