It doesn’t take a PM to manage projects

On the Job

It doesn’t take a PM to manage projects

You may or may not be a certified, titled, or universally recognized “project manager.”

However, chances are that you manage projects from time to time.

A project is an initiative designed to achieve particular goals for designated stakeholders. Because of the scope of most professional projects, accomplishing them will require you to do more than simply add a few more tasks to your to-do list.

Below are some tips for non-“project-manager”-project-managers to, well, manage projects.

Clarify the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved. Projects typically have the following cast of characters:

  • Project manager – the person (you?) who will organize all aspects of the project including meetings, deliverables, dates, and resources
  • Stakeholders – the people who have a vested interest in the outcome of your project
  • Project sponsor – a manager or executive who oversees the major deliverables, supports the project, and generally puts his/her clout behind the project if it faces obstacles
  • Project team – colleagues who will work with you to achieve project goals

Get organized – really organized. There are some tools you may need in order to get all your characters pointed in the same direction:

  • Project Scope Document – a document (3 – 4 pages) that identifies what the project will address, the timeline, budget, people involved, and most importantly, will explain why the project is important to see through to completion
  • A Massive Task List – this may be in spreadsheet format and identifies specific project-related tasks that need to be completed, by whom, with start/end dates
  • Electronic collaboration platform – most projects need a centralized place for team members to save and share electronic documents

Great strides in innovation and growth are achieved through effective management of projects – even from the regular folks.

Video tips: Are your projects on time and on budget?

When you start a project, is your tendency to just dive right in? In this video, Dr. Melissa Gratias outlines the critical elements of effective project planning that will help you stay on time and on budget with your projects.

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