In survey research as well as with many internet based industry verticals the biggest nightmare any project manager faces is a poor quality productivity output. Once the project is in shambles the only thing you end up working for is the commitment but it leaves a bad taste for your client. When you are FIRE FIGHTING the question of putting VALUE ADDITION to your project goes out of the window. The article looks at 5 effective ways to manage & execute a successful project.
Trick 1: HANDBOOK OF ERRORS!!
During my days as a project manager I always used to maintain a handbook filled with HOW YOU CAN KILL A PROJECT – it stated all the mistakes and errors that can creep in a project. In fact it was one of the most effective check lists I ever had.
Later on when I started managing teams this handbook helped me to educate my juniors as to what precautions they have to undertake before kick starting a project. Almost 90% of the errors can be STOPPED by ensuring that the check list has been strictly adhered to.
You should make your own list whether you are running a sample only survey, full service survey or working on a translation project keeping in mind your personal handbook of errors will reap in rich dividends. With time the list will keep on increasing as your experience grows – making it more effective in preventing project mishaps.
Trick 2: ASSUMPTION IS THE BIGGEST CULPRIT!!
There are lots of different types of GAPS for e.g. LANGUAGE GAP, INTERPRETATION GAP, COMMUNICATION GAP etc. – to not address these gaps is a sure shot way of inviting errors in your project.
Especially when you are communicating with your clients primarily through mails or phone call – assumption is the BIGGEST PROBLEM CREATOR.
I have always believed – IF IT AIN’T ON PAPER IT HAS NO VALUE – the best way to avoid any confusion is to jot down all the important points of a project in a mail and then get a written confirmation on them from your client.
Many of us are tempted to write flowery language in business communication – AVOID IT. Always write in the simplest plain English so that no confusion or misinterpretations happen.
Trick 3: STOP MICRO-MANAGEMENT!!
Some of us have a very BAD HABIT of OVER INDULGENCE with our work especially when we are working in a team. A classical example is when a person always cross-checks multiple times his junior’s work – this results in 2 major problems 1- the junior gets a false assumption that even if he has missed something you are there to catch hold off the issue before it reaches the clients 2 – As you have wasted so much of your own precious time managing other people work it adversely effects the quality of your own work.
DE-CENTRALIZATION of responsibilities helps make a project run seamlessly with brilliant results.
Trick 4: QUALITY RUNS PARALLEL!!
In most of my professional life I have seen the quality team is the last to see the face of the project – it is a GRAVE MISTAKE.
Firstly it is now in a shape where there isn’t much that could be done and secondly if they were involved from the start itself they would have given altogether different perspective about the project from the viewpoint of quality. FEASIBILITY is not about completing a project but EFFECTIVELY & EFFICIENTLY completing it.
Therefore it becomes imperative to initiate the quality process from the kick off meeting of the project itself. If quality team is the last to see the project the probability of a mess are more profound.
Trick 5: FAILURE IS PART OF LIFE!!
Far too many people take failure to heart – IT IS WRONG. No matter how many checks and balances are there you cannot be 100% correct all the time. There will be some disasters that you will come across – IT IS OK TO FAIL. But you should not start a fresh project with the burden of a past failure – IT IS GOING TO HAUNT YOU.
Mistakes are a part of GROWING UP process and should be respected for the same.
Now you have a choice. You can comment, share, or implement. I prefer if you implement, but I’ll appreciate all three – Akshay Kanyal