10 project management rules every business owner should know: Part 2

| By:
Mark Sokol

Back for more? Good for you. You’re well on your way to taming the project management beast.  When you get done reading, make sure you check out the fantastic new eBook, the Top 6 Project Management Breakdowns (& How to Fix Them).

I know what you’re thinking, why are we starting on rule six, right? Where are the first five rules? We covered those is a previous post. But to recap, the first five rules are:

  1. Project management is a specialization
  2. Without a scope, you’re doomed
  3. Establish Milestones
  4. Define how you will document the project
  5. Build an extra week into every phase
 Rule 6: Plan for the worst

If a key member of your project team won the lotto and walked away, would you still be able to effectively move forward? Without organized documentation, and a ready replacement, you’d be in trouble. Consider implementing internship and job shadowing programs, so you’re always bringing in fresh talent and encouraging internal employees to cross train.

 Rule 7: Set recurring review meetings

It’s important to keep internal teams working to deadline, and it’s crucial to keep the customer informed. Set internal and external project review meetings at regular intervals. Communication is key to project success.

 Rule 8: Know your bench

Beyond simply encouraging internships and job shadowing, research third parties to whom you can outsource work on demand. Keep a running list of internal/external talent resources and define their specializations. That way, you’ll always know who to call off your bench when a big project hits.

Rule 9: Provide customer with post-implementation checklist

What do customers dislike most? Feeling ditched. The project handoff day will probably be your customer’s most stressful day of the project. To alleviate concerns, give your customer a checklist of things to be aware of with their new implementation, resources to draw upon in a pinch, and, of course, your number on a refrigerator magnate.

 Rule 10: Send post-implementation survey

Customer satisfaction is important. If it’s good, you can tout your stats in marketing and sales materials. If it’s bad, at least you can find out why and correct the problems. These surveys should be less than 10 questions long and can be done electronically through services like Survey Monkey.