Tips from the Project Management kitchen
When people hear my title of Project Manager, they’re often pretty confused about what that really means. To most, it sounds administrative. Or boring. What it really means is, when someone says, “I’ve got this killer idea, but I don’t know where to begin,” I’m ready to swoop in and make sure we’ve got all the right ingredients, and that we follow the right recipe. That’s a pretty amazing skill (if I do say so myself.)
So how do we Project Managers do it? Here’s what you need to know in order to get things cooking.
Make your recipe
Whip up a calendar and start holding yourself—and your team—accountable.
- Take into account the little things. Are there any vacations or special events that you’re up against? Any time periods that will cause your team to be heads down and unresponsive?
- Don’t just look at the big milestones, keep in mind the small steps like internal back-and-forths so that you know who’s supposed to get you what and when. Keep things moving.
Get some more cooks in the kitchen (but not too many)
Build your core team but be selective with who you’ll be working with. Too many people can really burn your project and it’s outcome.
- Your working group should be a small set of key decision makers, representative of all trusted voices at your organization. I’d say that any more than six cooks in the kitchen is too much.
- Consider when a larger team needs to be involved. Is it once you’re halfway in so that you can make updates based on their feedback? Or is it only when you have a finished product?
Keep your communications well-garnished
- Honestly, the biggest secret to getting things done quickly is to customize your process based on who you’re speaking to. Lengthy emails generally don’t work for most people, so keep yours down to most immediate needs and break it down either by date or task holder.
- Need weekly calls or check-ins? Your first response is probably to say you don’t. But believe me, this can be the easiest and fastest way to be productive and keep things moving. Even a 15-minute check-in every day or week will keep everyone on track. Most importantly, you’ll be able to identify questions or obstacles standing in your way.
- Do some taste tests along the way. Consolidate feedback before moving on to the next task so that everyone’s happy with the finished product.
How do you keep your projects moving? Let us know!