Project Management Skills Training – Managing Implementation part2

by ltconsulting on September 18, 2012

Managing projects is not easy, but it is a crucial task in the workplace. Our Project Management training course will present delegates with useful strategies that will assist them with:

  • organising projects
  • improving project management skills
  • managing projects effectively
  • project planning
  • becoming a great project manager

With ever-increasing workloads and deadlines, the ability to manage our time has never been more important. Project management is a crucial factor in work and our project management courses are created to ensure that delegates can make their work based projects as efficient and effective as possible. We do this by supplying a project management training course that is full of tools and tips for improving project planning, time planning, delegation, organisation and management strategies, managing meetings, as well as handling and using time effectively. Our Project Management Course will cover subjects such as goal setting, improving organisation skills and managing time successfully. Our seminars are packed with useful tips and techniques that allow you to become a better project manager instantly.

Quality Management

One of the hardest things to monitor is “quality”. Many Project Managers find it difficult to determine exactly what the customer expects in terms of deliverable “quality”, let alone measure the actual levels of quality achieved. To do this properly, you need to implement a quality management process. By following this process, you can set quality targets to be achieved and gain agreement from your customer.

Then you can use Quality Assurance and Quality Control techniques to monitor and control the actual quality of your project deliverables. If your quality levels drop below the targets set, then you can take action to rectify it. By constantly reviewing quality levels and ensuring that they always meet the target, you can feel confident that your customer will sign off your project as complete, once all of the deliverables have been produced.

And there you have it. By implementing time, cost and quality management, you can take the first steps needed to properly monitor and control your project delivery.

Mechanisms for managing quality

  • Agreeing specifically (and in writing) with the project stakeholders at the project planning stage what over all quality requirements they require from the project
  • Incorporate quality assurance mechanisms into the project
  • Ensuring each project team member understands their responsibilities to the overall quality of the project
  • Having a project plan that clearly breaks down quality by activity
  • Building quality milestones into the project plan
  • Reviewing both project progress and quality objectives
  • Ensure everyone communicates their progress consistently and honestly
  • Using a system that identifies agreed significant deviations from the project plan

Monitoring project progress

Your Project Summary Sheet lays out the responsibility, time and cost for each activity so that they can be monitored by all concerned. It can also be adjusted to monitor progress against costs (specifically a working budget). Bar charts and graphs can also be used to measure planned progress against achieved.

Monitoring day-to-day performance

In addition to one-to-one and group progress feedback meetings, you will need to get out to the project to see for yourself what is going on. As project manager, your presence on site is required for both control and co-ordination functions.

For control you have three primary methods:

Inspection: physical observation of actual work against specifications

Testing: technical/functional tests to ensure objectives are achieved

Auditing: timings, quality achieved, costs, security, health and safety

Your planning must now be converted into ‘right’ actions by real people. Much has been made of the importance of ‘project teams’, but on most projects you will be dealing with varying groups during various activities, some under your direct control, some not. This calls for management control through monitoring, but it also requires effective leadership co-ordination to achieve maximum synergy and results.

Communicating Priorities

  1. When asking a request from someone always ensure you use ‘dated action’ so the other person understands your deadline. Using phrases such as ‘as soon as possible’ make it difficult for the other party to prioritise your requests.
  2. Let the other party understand both the priority and consequence of them meeting your deadlines, e.g.”It’s important that I get this by Thursday morning because the Senior Management team is meeting at 11.30 and will need this report for their financial forecasting. Thanks.”
  3. Use the reminders in Outlook as a tool for you to follow up. You can also use the ‘due from others’ section in your diary where you record promises made to you on the day they are promised. Remember, if you don’t follow up on tasks, you are training the other party to ignore your requests in the future.
  4. Use contract language to assess the reliability of promises, e.g. “Can you guarantee it will be done by…….” Tip: watch for verbal or visual signs of indecision and probe if there is the slightest hint of uncertainty.
  5. When chasing orders, reports, and information etc, always be in charge of the next step, e.g. “I’ll call you on Wednesday morning to let you know I’ve received it. Thanks very much.”
  6. Let’s be honest, some people have to constantly be chased as they never deliver without reminders, so be aware of other people’s history of delivery and set yourself a plan for getting what you want.
  7. If all else fails, ask someone in higher authority to either send out an e-mail prior to you needing something or to get involved in the process of chasing people for completion.

Managing Your Telephone Communications

  1. Get into the habit of making a contact sheet with people you speak to on a regular basis, or your important contacts. If you note the major items during all of your phone calls, you will save time if a problem occurs or if you need to clarify an important detail.
  2. Plan your calls. Make a brief note of what you want to say and what you want to find out. It saves time later. Also make notes during the conversation, this will allow you to have a record of important details in case you need to refer to agreed actions later on.
  3. Immediately record all agreed activities in your diary after the phone call. The diary will then act as an automatic memory jogger for your agreed actions and promises.
  4. Try to leave full details of why you called. The other person may be able to complete some of the necessary task before they call you back.

Project Management Skills Training

The course is designed to help delegates organise their workload while planning a project. This is done with the aid of Gantt charts and project management templates, tools and techniques. This course is also a great option if you seek project management for junior staff in the workplace as it will informatively aid staff in planning successful projects.

There are many benefits of being a project manager such as; better task management; increased self esteem; the ability to negotiate more effectively and reduce the stress which results from a lack of effective planning.

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