Project management can often seem like you are herding cats. With so many different resources to manage and stakeholders to appease, lots of things can go wrong.

Proper planning and proactive scheduling can make a huge difference in how your project goes.

Business team managing projects

5 Project Management Tips for a Successful Project

Getting your projects off to the right start and humming along like clockwork may seem like a pipe-dream. And sure, your project is likely to run into some snafus. But your project can still be a huge success. Here are some project management tips to make things go just a little bit more smoothly.

1. Start with a Clear Project Definition and Scope

Before you start the project, you need to have a clear project definition and scope of work. The “definition” of your project is a clearly written statement about what exactly your project is about and what its goals are. This may seem basic and rudimentary, but it really can make a huge difference.

Then, having the specifics written out – the scope – will help avoid costly “scope creep” down the line.

Set milestone meetings to review status and any issues that team members may be facing. Use these meetings as a check-in and reorganization of priories moving forward.

2. Utilize High Quality Project Management Software

The right project management software can really help make a project run more smoothly. Good resource scheduling software offers visual scheduling and milestones to help you see what is going on at a glance.

3. Pay Attention to the Progress of the Project

Monitoring the progress of a project may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have a lot of moving pieces going on all at once, it may be challenging.

The one thing you do not want to do is set a resource off on his or her own path without requiring check-ins until the next milestone. The last thing you want is the resource announcing right at the deadline that they are weeks behind and can’t get caught up because they have an illness in the family.

Many tools can be used to help monitor progress, from automated email reminders to cloud-based collaboration tools to keep the communication flowing.

Development team meeting

4. Proactively Identify (and Avoid) Bottlenecks

Is one of your resources likely to lag in development? Do you have a supplier that tends to ship late? Make sure you make a note of potential bottlenecks and schedule time and space for these probable problems.

5. Make Sure Your Technology is Up-to-Date

If your project involves technology, as it likely does these days, you have an even greater chance of nasty surprises popping up. Technology can make our lives a lot easier – until it throws a big wrench in the works. Having the best technology tools – this includes updated devices and operating systems – can make or break your project.

Ensure Success with Your Next Project

By taking some time to properly plan your project, prepare for unforeseen contingencies, and leverage the best technologies, your project can be a success. If you have one big takeaway: Let technology work for you, not against you.