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Big projects involve big risks and big rewards—that’s why project managers are drawn to them. Leading an enterprise project to a successful conclusion can improve your reputation, increase your earning potential and put you in line for even more important projects in the future. A high-profile failure, on the other hand, is a career setback that may be hard to recover from. That’s why it’s so important to understand the challenges you’ll face before you begin.

One of the biggest challenges in modern day enterprise project management is project logistics. Keeping track of dozens of stakeholders across multiple departments or companies is almost a full time job in itself, especially when many interrelated tasks are underway at the same time. It’s the project manager’s job to keep the lines of communication open at all times, and to make sure that everyone knows where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing. If you’re an enterprise project manager, the strategies listed below will help you avoid common pitfalls and master the art of project management logistics.

Set Clear Expectations

A few minutes of extra communication at the beginning of a project can save you weeks of trouble down the road. Before everyone on the project team is buried in work, take some time to set expectations regarding project communication, meeting schedules and other important housekeeping items. You want to be sure that all stakeholders understand how the project will be run, so that you don’t have to deal with communication breakdowns or missed assignments down the road.

Keep Key Stakeholders Engaged

Enterprise projects often have hundreds of stakeholders, each of whom has a unique role within the project. Many project managers use a RACI matrix to identify different groups of stakeholders and characterize their roles. A RACI matrix groups stakeholders into four categories:

  • Responsible: the team members who perform the actual project work
  • Accountable: team or project managers who ensure that the project work is completed
  • Consulted: higher-level stakeholders who provide input on strategic project decisions
  • Informed: other groups or individuals who need to be updated on the project as it progresses but are not otherwise involved

Placing your project’s stakeholders into a RACI matrix can make it much easier to manage your project communications and meeting schedule.

Encourage Collaboration

Online collaboration is critical to enterprise project success, especially now that project teams are so often distributed across multiple cities or countries. Be sure that your team members understand the importance of sharing ideas, insights and updates with their colleagues as quickly and effectively as possible. Whether through weekly progress meetings or daily check-in emails, encouraging collaboration is key.

Use the Right Tools

Enterprise project management is simply not possible without the right project management software. A cloud-based enterprise PM solution like Clarizen will not only help you manage your project logistics, it will simplify communication, collaboration, budget tracking and the multitude of other tasks necessary for enterprise project success. In using the right tools, you’ll be less likely to overlook small details that can quickly turn into larger issues.

David Goulden
David Goulden, Product Director