SMART Project Management Tips

Being a project manager is a difficult job. You must be on top of everything on just about every phase of the project from start to finish. This entails that you must supervise your team of workers, the resources needed and the time allowed for a specific phase of the job. This means that you must have the skill set necessary to pull this off. You must also be proficient with, or at least be familiar with, the keys to SMART project management.

1. Be Specific – The first step is to turn a general goal into a specific objective. Turning a general goal into a specific one reduces the chance that there is more than one methodology employed to achieve the goal. Specific goals are easily understandable by everyone who has basic knowledge of the project. The requirements and parameters of the goal are also well-defined. If your objective is to lose weight, turn it into a specific one by making it “Work out at home or at the gym for one hour every other day.”

2. Make a goal trackable – A key step in project management is making sure that progress can be tracked. By keeping goals measurable, you provide a point of comparison as to the success or failure of your workers’ efforts. Goals must be stated in such a way that it provides concrete criteria with which to measure performance. An objective that states that 20 million board feet of lumber must be transported to the mill every day will have 20 million board feet per day as the point of comparison. If the workers fail to meet the requirement, then they will have underperformed according to the set objective.

3. Don’t establish impossible goals – A project manager must also make sure that the goals he sets are achievable. He must make sure not to set extraordinarily difficult goals because his workers might fail to deliver and misconstrue it as a deliberate attempt on the PM’s part to make them fail. Scenarios like these happen all the time in the real world, that’s why the project manager must take care to set attainable goals only.

4. Ask the appropriate questions and decide accordingly – The next step for the PM is to decide whether a particular objective is relevant to the project or not. Relevance is determined by asking the question “Is this goal worth investing time and money on?” If the answer is yes, chances are that this goal is relevant to the project and thus must be pursued.

5. Make your workers stick to a deadline – Having a deadline increases the sense of urgency for your workers because they feel that they must accomplish the goal assigned to them in time. Sticking to a deadline also forces the workers to develop the attitudes, skills and abilities needed for the successful conclusion of the project.

6. Follow your own advice – Make sure that you abide by what you say. The project manager is the leader of his team and leaders should lead by example. If you follow your own advice, your workers will enjoy their work and will be more productive.

Next: SMART Goal Setting

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