Project­management: Implementing projects successfully

Sven Flätchen

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7. February 2022

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Reading time: 5 min.
We have already described what is meant by a project in a previous article. But how is a project implemented correctly and what are the tasks of project management?
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Projektmanagement

Project management, what is it?

The project management, more precisely the project manager or the project manager leads the project and its implementation to success! Project management accompanies a project from the beginning to the end and has some central tasks. The goal of project management is always to successfully implement the project. We have summarized the top 5 tasks of project management for you:

Project management tasks

1. Communication

Probably the most important task in project management: communication. As a project manager, you don’t have to be a chatterbox, but the contact between you, the project team and in particular the client (in external projects) or supervisor (in internal projects) must never be interrupted. In project management, you have to communicate primarily with clients:

  • Sell successes
  • Teaching failures gently but honestly
  • Procure budget
  • Create trust

Your project team, the steering committee, your superiors or the management of your company – to name just a few stakeholders – also need regular information from you as project manager. You not only communicate with them, but also lead meetings to discuss and solve problems. We have covered how to plan project meetings successfully in another article: Plan and conduct efficient project meetings.

In general, the task “Communication” means that as a project manager you must always maintain a dialog with all those involved. The sooner you talk about it, the easier it is to solve the problem. Arrange regular coordination and interim meetings with your clients or customers and prepare intensively for them. Ideally, a short meeting should take place at least once a week, if only to say: Everything is “OK”. This creates confidence in you and shows that you are running a successful project management.

Plan projects with a team all digitally, quickly and easily with one tool. Try smenso for free.

2. Delegate

As a project manager, one thing must be clear: you are the personification of a team player and not a Rambo who fights his way through the project alone. You are leading a project team and at the same time you are a part of it. And be aware that without a team, you’re screwed.And be aware that without a team, you’re screwed. In short, without a project team, you don’t have a project to manage.

You have to delegate the activities – these are also called activities, tasks or activities in project management – to your team members and always monitor the progress as well, so that everyone is clear about the status and you can take appropriate action if necessary.

3. Motivate

Projects can take months or even years, whether planned or unplanned (see e.g. Berlin Airport, they should have planned better with smenso!). Your project team must always stay motivated and keep the goal in mind. Keep in mind that your project members may also be involved in other projects or in the day-to-day business of your company. A big contribution to motivation is the Top 1 task: Kommunikation.

Therefore, it is essential that you bring your team on board from the beginning and always provide all important information and keep them happy. You can motivate your project team, for example, by communicating good performance of individual project members publicly (to the client), and always seek discussion in the case of less good performance.

Don’t be afraid to express criticism, because any problem solving contributes to the success of the project. As a team player, always remain fair and keep an eye on the overall performance of all project members.

4. Plan in a structured way

Louis Armstrong once said, “Never do anything by halves, or you’ll lose more than you’ll ever recover.” Another piece of wisdom? Let’s ask Aunt Käthe (“Rudi Völler): “We’ve made it to fifty percent, but that’s not half the battle!”

And with that, both of them probably hit the nail on the head, because there are no half-measures in project management and half-measures always make things complicated. Your task in project management is to make whole things out of these half things, to create clarity and thus reduce complexity. How you ideally structure and plan your projects, we have already explained in our article “Structuring Projects Efficiently?” and also presented in another article the Structuring with the help of smenso.

Plan projects with a team all digitally, quickly and easily with one tool. Try smenso for free.

5. Project controlling

In your responsibility as project manager, your customers or your superiors expect professional quality and appropriate quality management. To this end, you define a “red thread” for the project that your team can follow. Now it is up to you to regularly control the course and progress of the project and to coordinate it with the team:

  • Are we getting closer to our goal with these steps?
  • Are the priorities set correctly?
  • What should we change to achieve our goal?

Without extensive testing, corrections or project-specific checks, it is better not to communicate the project status to the customer. So set up a certain quality standard with your team so that projects run smoothly.

Your job is also to always know the status. So if your customer calls you at 3:00 in the morning and wants to know about the schedule, the budget or certain quality features, then as a project manager you need to know this off the top of your head.

Conclusion

The tasks in project management are primarily about successfully leading projects as a team player and task juggler. No more, but also no less. This includes sensitivity for details, foresight with regard to deadlines, high quality awareness and above-average social skills to motivate your team at all times.

It is important that you as a project manager:in have responsibility for the project and master it confidently and competently in difficult situations. Express also gladly times criticism in the sense of a successful project conversion, until you are content with the result. Every problem solution contributes to the success of the project, and your project team knows that.

As a project manager, you have to deal with project risks and think of many small details. Your role can often be difficult, as you must not shy away from delivering uncomfortable messages.  However, at the end of the day, honest and clear communication is the key to success and will make your life easier, your team and the client will thank you for it. It’s not a given. So praise yourself once in a while and celebrate your successes as a project manager:in with your team as well, so feel free to pop the corks. They will appreciate it and start the next project with you motivated.

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