Project management is usually a challenging task where different stakeholders must be satisfied against limited resources. Even more so where you are tasked with a project of magnitude proportions that just seems to be impossibility against with time frames that seem impossible to achieve. You have to deal with difficult personalities, ever changing environments and other constraints.
How does one conquer the impossible projects that come along your path? Here are five tips to conquer the impossible project:
Define the Successful Criteria. This will make or break your project. All stakeholders need to share a common understanding of how to determine the success of the project. It needs to be objective and measurable in order to determine success. Decide what criteria will be used to decide when a product will be released. Laying the groundwork right at the start of your impossible project will give the necessary direction that should be taken in achieving these criteria.
The Importance of a Plan. Writing a plan in itself is hardly challenging. The challenge is the actual planning or the amount of time utilized in analyzing the task at hand to achieve the measurable results will dictate your thoughts, the implementation how and gathering the correct information on potential risks. Break down your plan into workable chunks where checklists are utilized to process every step needed to achieve success. Always remember that it is important to manage the project pitfalls or it will manage you. Have plans in place to prevent mishaps and solutions to mishaps.
Project Approximation. If you want to approximate the project, it is suggested to do it in measures of effort and not calendar time. Calendar time leaves you open to variables like other tasks that need priority right now, meetings and many other uncontrollable factors. Use the 80/20 principle when scheduling time with team members and do make use of technology in estimating project deadlines.
Monitor Project Status in an Open Manner. It is important to operate within a team environment where individual team members have the freedom to report on project milestones in an open manner. Where one part of the project is lacking and another is ahead, available resources can be committees to the team or member that is lagging. Team members need to feel safe to report on status openly and thereby creating an accurate mirror of events. This will empower you to make informed and rational decisions.
Stay Calm. Do not get anxious in front of the team. If you are lagging behind, search for the best possible solutions to the problem at hand. You will make more focused and objective decisions when you are calm and collected. Be severe on deadlines, but be understanding in how to best achieve them. You are working with humans, not robots. The better leadership qualities you present now, the better for your future prospects.