of Project Management
Rule 1: Time Management is Critical
To deliver your project on time, you need to manage time
carefully. To do this, make sure every task is listed in a
Project Plan and that they are scheduled to occur precisely
when they need to.
Every week, update your plan with the time spent completing
tasks and identify whether each task is ahead or behind
schedule. Track the % complete of each task and if it's behind
schedule, then get it back on track by assigning more resource
or reducing the scope of the task. Don't let tasks slip. Be
Rule 2: Track Costs and Manage
Every element of your project incurs a cost. You need to
identify all of the planned costs upfront and get them approved
by your manager.
Then record every expense as it occurs - including people,
equipment and materials. Check that your actual expenditure
does not exceed your planned expenditure. And if it does, then
you need to cut back. If you're running over budget, tell your
Project Sponsor early.
Rule 3: Ensure Quality Targets are
You need to specify upfront exactly what it is that the project
will deliver (i.e. the "deliverables"). Then set targets for
the quality of these deliverables. Get your quality targets
agreed by your customer.
Then every week, review the quality of each deliverable
produced by the project. If it's not up to standard, fix it
immediately. Never wait until the end of the project before
fixing up quality issues.
Rule 4: Control Scope at the Micro
Your scope is defined as "the set of deliverables that need to
be produced by the project". So make sure that you know what
your scope is, try not to let anyone change it.
Check every week that your team is working on "just" the set of
deliverables agreed, and nothing more. Check that every
deliverable being produced exactly matches the specification
you've defined for it. Note: An increase in the scope of your
project will make it harder to deliver.
Rule 5: Resolve Issues Early
If issues arise during the project, then resolve them early.
Pounce on every issue before it delays your project. Record it
formally and then track it until it's resolved. Unresolved
issues lead to delays which lead to project failure. Stay safe
– resolve issues early.