So what can you do to make sure your project doesn’t meet the fate of the majority? Here are our top 5 tips on how to deliver projects on time and budget.
1) Communication is keyAs the project manager, you need to make sure that there’s open, frequent and ample communication between all the stakeholders. Stakeholders include the project team, vendors, top executives, and any other third parties you may be relying on for completing the project.
Everyone who is involved in the project must be aware of the project timeline, the most important milestones, and the deliverables expected of them. Make sure your team is not left in the dark when it comes to crucial information such as project deadline and budget. If your team members are not aware of these details, you can’t hold them accountable for timely delivery and budget adherence.
Make every member of the team and all other stakeholders accountable for communicating well with each other. Communication keeps everyone informed about the progress of the project, any potential concerns or problems, and helps everyone keep a tab on the budget. You can read more about this and how you can be a more effective communicator on the Successful Project Management website.
2) Expect the unexpectedThe only thing that is constant is change, so always be prepared for any unexpected situations or your project taking an unexpected turn. Be proactive - face the situation head-on and take charge.
Be disciplined when it comes to change management. Address difficult situations as they arise, encourage your team to discuss issues they might be facing, and create a plan of action to solve them as soon as possible.
3) Define your project goalsAs the project manager, you are responsible for ensuring everyone in the project team understands the scope of the project, what is expected of them, and the steps they need to take to complete the project successfully. Make sure to assign goals and responsibilities to every member of the team, and make each person accountable for a specific task so there is no room for ambiguity and no scope for blame games.
If you need some tips on how to define project goals and objectives, I've written a post about it here.
4) Monitor your progressTry to hold meetings with your team on a regular basis to monitor the progress they’ve made, clarify any doubts they may have, and help them in overcoming potential problems or difficulties. Don’t let the project be bogged down by the confusion of your team members. Monitor the progress of each milestone of the project and make sure it stays on schedule.
5) Stay focusedAnd last but not least, it’s important to stay focused on reaching the finishing line. Enthusiastic team members may come to you with ideas to enhance the process or make some changes to make it more efficient. Although they mean well, you don’t necessarily have to implement all the changes and ideas your team members come up with.
Focusing too much on the process can affect productivity, and your project may fall behind or end up costing more than you had expected. Keep an eye out and make sure everyone is focused on the original task and don’t let them steer away from this, even if it seems justified. This is the only way to march ahead and keep the project on schedule and within budget. And if you want to boost your project team's productivity, this article from Project Management has some great suggestions.
Do you have any other tips on how to deliver projects on time and budget? Let us know in the comments below.