Effective Project Management – It’s Really All About the Team!

It is not without irony that I’m writing this blog article on July 1st – after a very short sleep, on a Canadian holiday, on a BC Ferry boat.   The deadline for the article is today.  I planned to write it last week.   But many client projects that had drop dead deadline dates of June 30th took priority.  The last component was delivered at midnight.

Project Schedules & Project Scope – Do Not Define Success

So it is in this state of mind that I am contemplating what the keys to effective project management are.   It seems, at the moment at least, that detailed project schedules, with clearly defined tasks with start and finish dates, identified milestones and appropriate lag (cushion) times have very little to do with delivering a project on schedule.  Some of the other things I would have included in the list are effective project management on the client side, well understood and defined project scope, and regular communications – also don’t seem that critical right now.

Individual Characteristics Make a Great Team

When I look back and think about the reasons why these June 30th projects were pushed to the last minute,  and also why they WERE delivered on time (assuming one considers midnight timely),  it comes down to the makeup of the team and the characteristics of the individuals on the team.

Selecting the Project Team

I’m assuming that everyone at your company is motivated, committed, intelligent and knows their stuff.   Certainly that is the case here at SALESWORKS.  You presumably have a lot of talented individuals to choose from when putting a team together for a project. So the critical factor is to pick the right group of people to work together. Assign individuals to tasks that they like and are interested in, and to motivate them together to work in a single direction such that the end result is greater than the sum of the parts.

Soft Skills & Deadlines

So next year, I’m going to be pulling out those lately ignored sections of my Project Management handbook and brushing up on those soft skills such as team building and motivation.  And for those on the team that just have to deliver things at midnight on the day of – I might just push those deadline dates forward a little bit.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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