Practice These Nine Ways to Manage Your Projects (Part 2 of 2)

Every project takes place in its own specific context - a project may be stand-alone, part of a greater body of work, or it could be one in a series of projects. It may bring together as a project team a group of people who have never worked together before or give responsibilities and roles to people who are new to them. All of these factors need to be identified and considered in order for a project to be completed successfully.

“Here's the TenStep guest blog post "Practice These Nine Ways to Manage Your Projects (Part 2 of 2)":

After you've started up and planned your project, you'll move into the execution (or "delivery") phase in the project life cycle. This is the longest phase in the project, since it is in this phase that the deliverables are built for the customer. As a project manager you need to manage the work and monitor the progress of the project. In last week's newsletter we hit the first five ways to manage a project. In this edition we cover the last four.

Critical Process #6: Issues Management

Resolving issues sounds easy, right? However, issues are usually hard problems that are not totally within your control to resolve. So, by their nature they tend to be difficult to resolve. The challenge is to identify issues that are impacting the project and resolving them as quickly as possible. To make sure that you resolve issues in a timely manner, you need to put in place an Issue Management Process. This helps you to identify the issues, assess their impact, determine alternatives, make a recommendation, and get them resolved.

Critical Process #7: Procurement Management

You need to plan, monitor and control the procurement of goods and services from suppliers. Controlling procurement requires establishing contractual relationships with suppliers, and then monitoring the good and services delivered to ensure they meet the contract requirements. If your project requires a lot of third-party work, you need to implement a Procurement Management Process. This will define how your team plans, executes and monitors the procurement process.

Critical Process #8: Communications Management

Communication is king! You need to keep a constant eye on the communications that are taking place. If you have a larger project with a variety of stakeholders, you will likely need a formal Communications Plan so that key messages are communicated to the right people at the right time. You can then monitor and control your project communications by making sure that the activities on your Communications Plan are completed at the right time, and in the right manner.

Critical Process #9: Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is the process of identifying, engaging and monitoring stakeholders throughout a project. A large portion of stakeholder management is associated with proactive communication, so there will be overlap between this process and the communications management process. Stakeholder management goes further by attempting to understand the relationship of the stakeholders to the project. This includes understanding who is a supporter/detractor, who has high/low power, and who has low/high influence. Understanding the stakeholders helps you better engage them on the project.

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