Advanced: Managing a Project
Let’s make it happen
At this point, you’re in the thick of managing your project. You’re probably juggling quite a few tasks, but this section can provide guidance wherever (and whenever) you may need it.
Managing the project
Following initiation and planning, you have now reached the part of your project life cycle where the bulk of the work happens. The next phases of your project include some very important tasks and responsibilities — let’s take a look at what they are.
- The execution phase: This phase is where all the planning and task assignments come to fruition. It is also the phase where most of the time, money, and people are utilized during the project. This phase typically begins with a kickoff meeting, where the project’s background, plan, roles, and tools will be confirmed.
- The controlling and monitoring phase: This phase happens concurrently with the execution phase, and focuses on making sure all the moving parts of the project are running smoothly. This is the time that plans may be modified, new resources may be needed, and project performance will be recorded. At the end of this phase, all of the project deliverables should be accepted by the customer.
- Project closure: The official end of the project. This is where the team wraps up any loose ends, hands the project off to the relevant team or manager, and reviews wins and learnings from the project.
For more information on the phases of the project life cycle, take a look at our full section on this topic.
Why collaboration is a key factor of project success
As your team works through the bulk of the project, it will become clear how important smooth and cooperative collaboration is. Any great project relies on its team’s combined ideas, skills, and efforts — that’s why collaboration is so crucial to ensuring that a project is a success.
Aargon’s Research Globe predicts that by 2025, team collaboration will be the primary method for business communication, driven by the demand for higher performance and agility. Investing in collaboration has countless benefits for a project management team. These include:
How to improve your project management team’s collaboration
If you feel your team’s collaboration could use some work, this guide is a great place to start. Every team’s dynamic is different, but as long as you follow some best practices, your project will run smoothly and effectively throughout its life cycle.
Here are five tips for improving collaboration on your project management team.
Build a collaborative environment
Make sure your surroundings are welcoming and encouraging to team members to foster creativity and voice their opinions. If you’re in the office, make sure your team meetings take place in an open space away from individual desks. If you’re working remotely, structure your virtual meetings to allow every member to have their say.
Lead by example
As the team leader, it’s up to you to model collaborative behaviors and to demonstrate best practices across the project’s phases. When your team sees how your approach can improve the project’s performance, they will follow suit.
Make meetings and brainstorming sessions more efficient
Regular meetings and updates are key to collaboration, but meetings that are unnecessarily long and without structure can be a productivity killer. When planning meetings, consider only inviting relevant team members, utilizing productivity tools, and focusing on a goal-oriented agenda for each meeting.
Conflict often arises within teams during a project, and as the manager, it’s up to you to resolve these issues quickly and compassionately. Remember to stay calm, avoid escalation, and listen to both sides’ input.
Celebrate your team members
Every victory — even small wins — deserves to be recognized when working on a project. Take the time to honor your team members’ efforts, both at the completion of the project, and throughout its life cycle.
For more ways to maximize team collaboration, and how to manage a team effectively, head to our page on team collaboration tips.