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Wellbeing & Personal Development

5 top tips for successful project management

5 top tips for successful project management
Published: January 28, 2015
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Sarah Wragg, one of Impact's Client Managers, shares her top tips on how to be successful in the field of Project Management.

Have a vision 

For me this is really important - not only so that I can visualise the elements of a project and how they fit together to reach the end goal, but so that I can articulate that goal to the project team.

Imagine a jigsaw on the floor in 100 pieces – everyone in the team needs to understand how they're going to help to get to the picture on the box. This supports the clarity and understanding of the critical role each member of the project team needs to play to enable success. I also believe that looking beyond the next project milestone and promoting the project purpose drives engagement.

Stay Realistic

  • Are the right resources available?
  • Do they come in on budget?
  • Are the timescales achievable?
  • Do you have access to the information you need, when you need it?

These are all important questions. One of the key roles of a project manager is to make sure they are setting realistic expectations from the off set. In my role at Impact this is critical in building a strong relationship with our clients.

Raising concerns and addressing them in the planning phase is much more effective than over promising and simply not delivering. Neglecting to voice concerns will cost you - whether it be by compromising the quality of the project, losing the trust of a client and/or the sanity of your project team!

Be Agile

Traditional project management methodologies have their place, but in today’s VUCA world it's vital to have the ability to adapt and flex to ever-changing circumstances.

Performing risk management with your project team is critical. Wherever possible, plan for uncertainty and prepare for the unexpected. What challenges might you face and how will you manage change dynamically to address them? 

Communication, Communication, Communication 

Make a comms plan and stick to it. 

Define a framework for this at the start of your project. Simple.

Review in the moment

It’s common sense to evaluate the success of your project after its close, but why not build in some review time whilst your project is live? Committing to an ongoing process review means people don’t have to wait until the end of the project to disclose and resolve any issues.

I think this quote says it all:

"I liken process improvement to highway construction: it slows everyone down a little bit for a time, but after the work is done, the road is a lot smoother and the output greater"

Happy PM'ing!