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4 tips for managing complex projects

Project management is essential to getting an idea off the ground and seeing it to completion. But the more complex the project, the harder it is to keep all the balls in the air without the risk of one of them crashing down. Careful planning, clear communication, and allocation of resources before and during the project keeps things on track, and leads to a successful completion. Following are tips to help keep a complex management project on target.

Identify All Aspects of the Project First

Begin by determining the what, where, why, and how in the project during the planning stage. What is the project supposed to do, where is this going to happen, why it’s needed, and how it’s going to happen. Familiarize yourself with these issues front to back, left to right, and up and down. It makes it easier to answer questions as the arise and helps to head off trouble at the pass when it inevitably pops up.

Image via Flickr by Luigi Mengato

Image via Flickr by Luigi Mengato

Identify the Manpower

Determining who is good at what is necessary to get the job done right. Using the right people is akin to using the right tool for the job. They know what they’re supposed to do, how to do it, and can get it delivered on time. People who are proficient in their area of expertise operate autonomously and require much less hand-holding throughout the project. The work comes to you completed the right way the first time around, saving you time and money.

In the same vein, learn who the gatekeepers are. Figure out who has the authority to get things done, or empower others to do the same. Going to the right people when something needs to be done outside of the usual methods during the project means less time wasted. It eliminates the need to run from office to office in search of someone who has the power to make the decision and stand by it.

Bring in Outside Help When Necessary

It may be that the internal staff isn’t enough to get the job done properly, and hiring more staff isn’t possible. Outsourcing the parts of the project to an organization that knows what needs to be, like Ruota Consulting, done saves money in the long run as there’s no need to hire, train, and pay a full salary. Outside assistance quotes a price for the project for a one-time fee and leaves when it’s finished. No having to let someone go or find a new role for them within the organization once the project is completed.

Be Flexible

The project may not always go as smoothly as planned, and new methodologies have to be brought in to get the project done. Learn what you can about anything new that has to be brought in, don’t resist changes, and don’t react badly when something goes wrong.

Proper planning means that a complex project doesn’t turn into a nightmare for all involved. Delivering a project on time and on or under budget makes you look good and keeps the client happy provided you’re properly prepared from start to finish.

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