This list of six project management tips is sure to help you knock out the projects that drive revenue for your business.
Kicking off a big project may seem intimidating, especially if you’re in charge of keeping things moving. We’re here to help you knock out those big, scary projects and become a goal-crushing project manager.
Goals just so happen to be the subject of our first project management tip.
1. Define your goals
Every project needs goals. When you define what you want to achieve, you’ll have an easier time figuring out how to get there.
- Specific, meaning they’re detailed enough to explain exactly what you want
- Measurable, meaning your success can be evaluated with certain metrics
- Attainable, meaning you have realistic expectations for what you can achieve
- Relevant, meaning your goals align with your overall company objectives
- Time-bound, meaning you have a timeline for when your goals should be completed
Don’t keep these goals to yourself, though. Everyone working on a project needs to be aware of what you’re working towards so they can make sure their contributions align with your vision.
Plus, having an open dialogue with the people on your team gives them the opportunity to share what they think is possible for their part of the project — allowing you to plan accordingly.
2. Work backwards
Successful project management starts with the end result. If you have a goal for your project, you can work backwards to break down the steps that will get you to the finish line.
Say you want to launch one video advertising campaign on YouTube. You’ll definitely need a video. The video needs to be added to YouTube. If we go further down that path, you’ll need someone to make the video.
Let’s break that down even more. You’ll need someone to plan the video, coordinate with an actor, write a script, shoot the video, and edit the finished product. On the advertising side of things, you need to figure out your budget, decide on audience targeting, and write copy.
You can expand each of the individual steps in this example so they have even more detail.
After you’ve worked through everything, the big scary project will feel like a manageable series of tasks you and your team can tackle.
3. Manage expectations
You’ve set your goals. Now stick to them. And don’t promise impossible things just to please people. No one will feel happy when you miss a deadline or fall short of your goals.
Communicate your team’s timeline and capabilities with all of your project’s stakeholders. Be honest — but polite — if anyone has unrealistic expectations.
As a project manager, it benefits you and those you work with to be mindful of everyone’s schedules. Your project is likely not the only thing everyone has on their plates. Ignoring other people’s responsibilities and pushing them too hard can lead to burnout and lack of motivation — which is good for no one.
Everyone will feel better if you respect their time and communicate what you can realistically accomplish. This includes accounting for issues that may pop up throughout the project.
4. Document everything
Having documented resources remains essential to effective project management.
Holding a meeting? Take notes. Want people to complete a task in a certain way? Write out directions. Need to meet certain brand standards? Make a style guide.
The more documentation you have for your project, the fewer questions you’ll have to answer and the more confident you can be that everyone is on the same page.
Don’t forget to make templates, too. If you notice tasks being repeated over and over again, you may want to create a template. If, for example, someone is adding pages to a website and they’re all similar, make a page template so they don’t have to create something from scratch each time they add a page.
When you document everything, you create a library of resources your team can refer to whenever they need information, making your work much more efficient.
5. Ask questions
If you only remember one of the project planning tips in this video — although, I hope you remember more than one — remember to ask questions, no matter how small or inconsequential you think they are. If you’re thinking it, there’s a good chance someone else is, too.
Encourage your team to ask questions. You want to make sure everyone understands the project and their responsibilities. There’s no shame in getting a bit of clarity.
Questions help you, your team, and anyone else involved in the project become better communicators.
Let’s say your team has knocked out a major project, and you’re tasked with scheduling a big meeting with all of your company’s leaders. You book a big conference room and order some snacks. The day of the meeting arrives and your team leader asks where the webcam is for the people who aren’t in the office. You don’t have one ready because you never asked, “Will everyone be in the office?” Just one question can save everyone a lot of stress.
6. Use a project management tool
Last in this list of project management tips, invest in a project management tool.
Project management software gives you the ability to track multiple projects all in the same place. Depending on the tool you use, you can upload files, set up to-do lists, assign tasks to team members, comment on threads related to your project, and more.
With everything in one place, you’ll have a more organized, less chaotic workflow, especially if you work on multiple projects at once or have anything more complex in the pipeline.
A simple spreadsheet may keep you organized initially, but you may want to consider a dedicated tool if you feel that a spreadsheet doesn’t meet your growing needs.
Bonus tip. Partner with a digital marketing agency like WebFX if you’re looking for a team of project managers to help with your marketing efforts.
And that’s all I have for you in this video. Before you go, this is your regular reminder to subscribe to our YouTube channel and our email newsletter, Revenue Weekly, for digital marketing insights from our experts. You can find the link to Revenue Weekly in the video description.
Now get out there and manage those projects like the boss that you are!