If you think about it, nearly everything we do at work or in our personal lives requires project management. If a task requires more than one step, and most especially if someone else needs to be involved, project management principles should kick in to make for smoother sailing.
One key principle of project management is planning. If you don’t take the time to plan, you’ll end up back-tracking more often, which can cost you time, money, client trust and reputation.
Here are five key planning components of project management:
Step / Task Description – Map out each individual step that must be taken in order to complete this task.
Resources – You most likely will need some kind of resource for at least one of the steps. An answer to a question? A price quote? A timeline decision? What will you need in order to complete each task on your project management list?
Person(s) Responsible – If you are responsible for every single item, then you’ll see your name listed at every single step. But if anyone else is involved, it should be noted who is responsible for providing a resource, delivering information and/or completing a step.
Time Needed to Complete – This component is usually left out of many planning notes. Estimate the time needed to complete the “labor” involved for each individual step. Then add in extra time to allow for contingencies and delays.
Deadline – After you estimate the time needed to complete a step and where in their schedule the responsible party can fit the work, then you can determine the deadline for completing that step.
Many people want to dive into action right away as soon as they hear a great idea. But by pausing to practice key project management principles and map out all possible steps, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time, money and headaches in the long run.
For the complete guide to time management (including the all-important project management), check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.