Enterprise project management is intensely demanding work. Keeping track of dozens of project tasks, team members and other stakeholders can be overwhelming, even when a project is progressing well. Fortunately, if you develop the right approach to your work, you can stay on top of any project, no matter how large or complex. Let’s take a look at some of the most beneficial habits of project managers in the enterprise space, and how you can incorporate them into your weekly routine.
Check in With Key Stakeholders
It’s easy to get buried in the details of project tasks, budget reports, travel itineraries and the countless other details that you need to deal with every day. Unless you make a point of coming up for air and communicating with your customers or senior leaders, you can create uncertainty about how you’re managing the project. That’s why it’s so important to build your calendar around weekly checkpoints with your key stakeholders. If possible, try to schedule a recurring 15- or 30-minute weekly meeting with each project’s steering committee, executive sponsor or other top decision-makers. Not only will these weekly chats keep everyone comfortable with your management style, they’ll give you an opportunity to get advance warning on new issues, requirement changes or other critical information that you might not otherwise get until it’s too late.
Get Progress Reports from Team Members
Just as you need to provide status updates to senior stakeholders, effective project management requires that you get progress updates from each team member on at least a weekly basis. Even the most capable workers can forget to pass along important information if they’re left to do it on their own. You’re much less likely to get blindsided if you ask direct questions about the progress of project tasks and deliverables.
Provide Feedback to Your Team
As any successful project manager knows, if you ask for information from your team, you should provide feedback on the responses you get. Whether your project is right on track or falling behind, it’s important to let your team know that you’ve listened to their status reports and know how to work the information into the project plan. Even if the news you get isn’t good, try to keep your feedback positive—your team members aren’t likely to make an extra effort if you spend your time assigning blame or rehashing old mistakes.
Review Project Risks
Risk management is an essential, and increasingly visible, aspect of enterprise project management. Whether you do it in a meeting with other stakeholders or complete the review on your own, be sure that you take time each week to evaluate the risks you’ve identified for your project. The sooner you know that trouble is brewing, the easier it will be to get your project back on track.
Review Key Metrics
Enterprise project managers can’t afford to wait until a project is complete to figure out whether it went over budget or missed a key deadline. Every week, take a look at key performance indicators like task completion, team member utilization, budget performance and timeline performance. In addition to helping you identify issues in their early stages, this habit will leave you well prepared to answer unexpected questions you may get from your stakeholders.