Most of us will agree with the statement “Setting goals is easy, but achieving them isn’t” because it’s not enough to simply say “I want to achieve X” or “I will certainly get it” etc.
The biggest challenge that project managers face is striking a perfect balance between strategic company objectives and project demands. The problem is magnified to a great extent when it comes to managing IT related projects.
Undoubtedly, making the goal as specific as possible and expressing it in positive terms are extremely important. But you need to keep in mind also that setting smart goals is the first step in making your goal a reality. So, are you looking for some smartest moves to achieve your IT project goals?
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Here are 8 highly effective strategies for project managers that can help them to achieve IT project goals.
(1) Begin with the End in Mind
The famous advice by the management guru Stephen Richards Covey, “Begin with the End in Mind” is relevant not just to achieve personal excellence, but project management as well. Knowing about the end deliverables at the start is critical for the project success.
It is important to know about the ultimate destination before beginning the journey. In the context of managing an IT project, it refers to knowing about the project costs, scope, and objectives.
(2) Get Clarification about the Project
Before commencing work on a project, the project manager must get clarification about the project requirements from the stakeholders. The end goals should be clearly stated in black and white to avoid confusions later down the road.
The project deliverables should be fully understood and agreed before any work is started on the project.
(3) Make a Realistic Goal Timeline
The project manager should understand the team’s workload when setting goals. When setting goals for the team, it’s important to account for all eventualities that could result in project delays. The project manager should be able to see how each member could contribute realistically during each phase of the project.
Trying to push through unrealistic timelines to achieve the goals can be nothing short of a nightmare for the team, and which will ultimately result in failure of the project.
(4) Dissect the Goal to Make It Achievable
Focusing on a single large goal will seem overwhelming to the team. Faced with the prospects of a challenging goal, most team members will feel disheartened even before the project has started. To make the end-goal less intimidating, it is suggested to dissect the goal to make it seem achievable to the team.
Consider setting small milestones that can be achieved in less time. When the team is able to accomplish smaller goals, it will keep them motivated to work towards the larger goal. Setting small goals that are easily achievable will also help in maintaining a positive team attitude that will enable them to carry on tasks that are more complex during the advance stage of the project.
(5) Celebrate Small and Big Milestones
The project manager should celebrate with the team in reaching both minor and major goals. By celebrating achievements, the team members will come to associate the process of achieving goals as something that is desirable. It will also help in relieving the pressure among the team members that builds up when working towards a goal.
(6) Bring the Team on the Same Wavelength
The fact of the matter is that IT projects are relatively complex in nature. A problem with IT related projects is that not everyone on the team is able to comprehend the project details and requirements. Confusion about the project requirements is one of the most common reasons for the failure of achieving the IT project goals.
A project owner should offer training to the team by conducting short sessions to update them about the exact nature of the project. There is no need to conduct lengthy sessions to offer in-depth information about the project. The project team should be offered the tools and resources that will help them to get accurate information relating to the project.
(7) Consider Implementing a Project Management Software
A project management application can greatly help in managing large and most complex IT projects. The project management software can ease the task of managing resources. One effective project management application for IT projects is Redbooth. The software enhances transparency, communication, and accountability in managing large projects. Using the software, project managers will easily set priorities and align the team goals that help them to work faster and smarter across the organization.
Project Management Software is important, especially for software development team. It allows every member of the software team to plan goals, track progress, and deliver results within the stated time and cost constraints. The team members can see how their contributions impact the wider goals and objective related to the project.
(8) Set an Effective System to Monitor the Progress
Without setting a proper system to monitor the progress made by the team, everyone will remain in the dark about the project. They won’t know whether they are on track to achieve the project goal. Having a proper system in place to measure the team performance will help in eliminating confusion regarding the project.
A live dashboard that provides information about the team progress is one way to make sure that team has visibility about the project performance. Another option is to set up key performance indicators (KPI) that help in keeping track of the team productivity. Implementing these and other similar measures to monitor the team progress will increase the likelihood of a successful completion of the IT project while achieving all the project deliverables.
The responsibility of the project manager doesn’t necessarily ends once the IT project has been completed. The project head might be required to train the stakeholders about the proper usage of the product. Also, the project manager would have to inform the relevant personnel about the benefits of implementing the product such as how it will lead to improved productivity or reduced expenses.
In conclusion, managing IT projects requires a slightly different approach as compared to managing other projects. The project manager has to set realistic goals and objectives and create a roadmap that will allow successful completion of the project.
You might also like to see: Top 5 Best Free Project Management App for Android