Project management involves a wide variety of consistent practices that boost the overall effectiveness of organizations, such as optimizing meetings, keeping stakeholders informed, and encouraging collaboration among team members. Of course, project managers are pros at implementing these best practices into their daily work operations, but what about everyone else?
Even if you’re not a project manager, you can still benefit from their knowledge. Keep reading for some insight into five project management best practices that you can use no matter what department you’re in. You’ll also learn a bit more about Docket, a meeting workspace platform that helps everyone in your organization get the most out of meetings.
Practice One: Have a Project Plan and Communicate It
One way to thrive within your organization is simply to have project plans and communicate them with your colleagues. This may seem like a simple practice, but it can have a drastic effect on your own productivity and your inter- and intra-team relationships.
Planning out timelines, keeping your work consistent, and sharing what you are doing with others in your organization helps everyone do their jobs better and ensures you have some personal expectations to adhere to. When you make a project plan and spend time figuring out your own personal project management details, tasks can seem much clearer and simpler for everyone that’s directly or tangentially involved in the project.
Practice Two: Always Know Your Stakeholders & Keep Everyone Informed
A stakeholder could be anyone from an investor to a colleague on a different team working on a different piece of the same puzzle. Whatever you’re working on, there are surely other people concerned with your progress. Good project managers track and record information that’s relevant to each and every stakeholder so they can keep them updated and informed at every stage of the project.
Docket can play a huge role in the successful implementation of this best practice. With Docket, project management practices (such as sending vital info to the relevant parties) can be completed easily. This task can be accomplished with Docket’s collaborative agenda feature and with the post-meeting notes features.
Practice Three: Identify Dependencies Upfront
Perhaps one of the most important practices in project management is identifying dependencies. Project dependencies are essentially tasks that depend on the completion of other tasks. It’s highly unlikely that your organization’s projects don’t connect in some way, and you’ll often find that numerous steps in your project plan rely upon the completion of a separate step first.
This can get complicated and frustrating if you’re not able to identify dependencies upfront as a project manager would. Practicing this skill and looking at dependencies as soon as you have a plan in place will prevent unneeded stress down the line and will keep your projects running smoothly.
There’s nothing more disheartening than coming across unending roadblocks as you’re trying to work on something and having to send email after email to different departments.
Practice Four: Manage Scope Creep
Scope creep is a project management term that refers to the unforeseen and significant changes within a project plan that have the potential to derail the project as a whole. In other words, it’s when the scope of a project slowly creeps outwards until the end goals are much different than what was agreed upon or planned originally.
Scope creep can get out of hand when you’ve not accounted for the things that might change throughout the course of the project or if your project was not thoroughly defined from the get-go. Though scope creep can happen even when you think you have everything planned out, project management is all about learning how to address the issues that arise when scope creep occurs.
A skilled project manager knows how to avoid scope creep with the help of: backup plans, thorough documentation, and clear communication with others. Adopting some of these methods into your everyday work life can allow you to thrive in your organization. Perhaps the most effective way to avoid scope creep is to very clearly define the scope of the project with all stakeholders before ever getting started.
Practice Five: Keep Teams Engaged
Great collaboration is the secret ingredient to high-quality work. With the rise of virtual meetings, it can be hard for meeting leaders to keep everyone engaged in what is being discussed.
To keep your team committed to the task at hand, Docket provides agenda templates that allow you to plan ahead, ensuring that everything in your meeting is relevant and engaging. You can also resource-share on the Docket platform, which guarantees that people are paying attention and on the same page (literally) instead of searching through their email to find the correct documents.
If you want to make your meetings better and get into the mind of a project manager, Docket is the perfect tool for you. Even if your professional title is not project manager, you can still benefit from implementing some project management best practices.