What are key practical suggestions for real-world project management?

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Here are tips for day-to-day project management at your office or workplace. These suggestions come from our combined 50+ years of experience in managing projects.

1. Here is a list of project documents that will help you must create and maintain to track project progress:

a) Project charter (usually in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint)
b) Project schedule (usually in Microsoft Project)
c) Project budget (usually in MS Excel or in a cloud-based application)
d) Project communications plan (in MS Word or Excel)
e) Business requirements document (in MS Word or Excel)
f) Solution and technical requirements document (in MS Word or Excel)
g) Stakeholder registers (usually in Excel)
h) Risk register (usually in Excel)

2. For each project, maintain your own personal “to-do” list. This is different from the activity log mentioned above.

3. Look at and update your personal “to-do” list throughout the working day. This should be your first go-to place when you think about what you should next do for your project.

4. Develop a checklist of project management tasks that must be done routinely (each week, month or quarter). This will include tasks such as:

a) updating financial forecasts,
b) reviewing invoices that need to be paid by Accounts Payable team and charged to your project budget,
c) sending status reports,
d) reviewing hours charged by the resources to your project, and
e) conducting project status calls, etc.

5. Maintain weekly calls for each project. However, if a project is busy (e.g., during execution) schedule daily review meetings (15 to 30 minutes should suffice).

6. Know the power players and those who are influential in the organization!

7. Build political capital within the organization.

8. Help others! Some

day, the going will could get tough. At that time, you will need help from others!

9. If opportunities arise, volunteer to take more responsibility.

10. Focus on the big picture, but care about the details as well. No one else will!

11. Be genuine! Be honest! Acknowledge that people can see through pretense and cover-ups!

12. In this global and virtual workplace, get to know people! H

old regular 1:1 meetings with key project team members and stakeholders.

13. Meet them face-to-face, whenever possible. It builds support and improves mutual trust.

14. Be proactive. Do things in advance. This is the single important quality for success as a project manager.

15. Protect the project team members. They, in turn, will protect the project and maintain progress for you.

16. Again, methodologies are good, but know that you are working with humans. Their responses are sometimes not predictable or logic

al, but what they do could impact your project.

17. Leave egos at the meeting doorsteps. Be aware of your weaknesses and work to reduce their impact. The room for growth is the biggest room in the world.

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