This week, our guest contributor Amanda Peterson from Enlighted Digital gives a few tips that will help project managers in Industry 4.0 achieve amazing results. If you want to know more about Amanda and Enlighted Digital, check her short bio at the end of the post or visit this page.
Project management is a critical component to any business. Company leadership has to juggle multiple tasks at once and need the right tools and processes to keep everything balanced. It is important for project managers to prioritize tasks correctly and get work done in the most efficient way.
The age of Industry 4.0 and flexible work arrangements is upon us, and the future of our work environments is constantly changing. As new technologies and trends continue to grow in popularity, it is important for organizers to stay on top of the changing landscape of project management and ensure their teams are set up for success.
From the tools you use for managing jobs, to developing positive team morale no matter where your team is located, these tips and tricks will help every leader be a better project manager in the new age of work.
Find the right tools
There are plenty of project management tools available, each with only a slightly different set of offerings, many including charts, dashboards, time tracking and reporting features. Many are accessible via cloud-based platforms and interconnected over the IoT, making projects easier to access in-office or remotely.
For individuals and smaller teams, especially those just getting started, Trello is a great option. For medium sized teams, a program like Wrike might be a better fit. For big projects at larger companies, Microsoft Project can handle anything thrown its way.
No matter what your company’s needs are, there is a project management tool to accommodate. However, the technology itself is much less important than having the full support of your team. No matter what program you choose, use the tools and processes that work best for your team’s needs.
Practice frequent and transparent communication
The importance of communication cannot be understated when it comes to project management, especially with a large number of remote employees in the workforce right now. Each member of the team should have a full understanding of the procedure and know their role in a project every step of the way. In the beginning stages of a project, you should clearly outline priorities for each team member and then reiterate them multiple times as the job unfolds.
Unanticipated issues can be a huge setback to any project management process but should be communicated immediately. The full team can then evaluate the trends and problems that have previously been encountered in order to prepare for, and even prevent, the risk of repeating any similar problems. By identifying and openly talking about the potential risks, you can create a plan for how to deal with problems as they arise and keep an eye out for warning signs throughout the job.
It is imperative each member of the team is continuously kept in the loop throughout the process and progress is being evaluated regularly. Every update should be communicated to the whole team. Even if the news is not always good, full disclosure is key for success.
Consistently monitor KPIs
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, should be monitored closely and consistently in order to ensure each job stays on track. Some common data points to track would be costs, schedule, scope, along with the teams and products involved. Through the project management tools available, these statistics are right at your fingertips and easily accessible from anywhere at any time.
Identifying these metrics provides visibility into projects for team members and clients and should be done on a daily basis. Additionally, evaluating these statistics ensures a team stays on task and is always aware of where they are in a project and how they’re performing.
Put substantial effort into company culture
Although positive culture does not directly translate into high performance levels, it has a positive impact on productivity, dedication to each project and realization of goals. A positive attitude and a feeling of inclusion in any company boosts morale across the board and inspires employees to work harder.
For any leader, it is important to focus energy on mentoring and motivation. After all, a stronger leader creates a stronger team and a strong team works like a well-oiled machine. Put a focus on clear channels of communication and ensure members of the team feel safe expressing their views and opinions. Each team member should have the skills they need and feel they are getting the most out of their experience.
By keeping this advice in mind, project management will be effective and seamless.
About the Author
Amanda Peterson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from New York City. When she’s not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find her curling up to watch some Netflix with her Puggle, Hendrix.