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Traditionally projects consist of five steps; the project is initiated, it goes through the design stage, it is executed and constructed, controlled and monitored, and lastly, completed. Stakeholders will want to see returns on their investments; therefore it is crucial that an experienced project management team is employed.

A project manager is the person who is responsible for overseeing a project from beginning to end. Whoever undertakes this difficult task needs to have the appropriate qualifications and skills i.e. planning a venture from infancy entails good basic budgeting knowledge, a cost overrun can incur heavy penalties. In order to complete a program of work successfully, there are certain objectives and goals to accomplish along the way, and inevitably, there will be tight deadlines to meet.

If any team is to work to their full potential, it is imperative that they are given clear and concise instructions. The team must be watchful of the objectives, the deadlines and the overall cost of the task. All team members need to be aware of the role that they play and who they are answerable to.

Business people generally have one aim, and that is to make money. An efficiently managed project stands to make a good profit margin yet mismanagement can cost the company dearly. In all probability, a document known as a scope management plan will be compiled. This can be an in-depth plan of the job demands. The aforementioned plan will be looked at by everyone who is involved. The document has clear guidelines about how the task will be undertaken and it is for the perusal of the team and customers alike.

The team leader will need to ensure that staff are able to approach executives should they encounter any problems. Problem solving is part of the art of managing any project. The person in command has to have respect and consideration for the employees, and therefore, good listening skills are essential.

Complex activities will undoubtedly be stressful, so the ability to work under great pressure is a prerequisite. It is a forgone conclusion that at some point the team leader is going to be under fire from the team and the stakeholders as work progresses. Great communication skills are of great benefit to any leader and team.

Motivation is the keyword and whoever is in charge should openly encourage good workmanship and offer praise where it is due. A good sense of discipline is a big part of successful project management. If any team member has any good suggestions, a good manager is always willing to listen. As each stage is completed, progress is monitored in case there are any minor alterations that need to be made.

About the Author

  • About Alastair Majury: Alastair became a senior business analyst through his expertise in systems. He has since worked in private wealth, retail and Investment banking.

Alastair Majury

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