Good Planning will Eliminate Many Surprises - Most project problems can be traced back to poor planning desicions, or inadequate planning. Take the time to plan your project properly.
Have Agreed-Upon Project Objectives - Ensure that the project has several agreed-upon objectives that can be reviewed throughout and at the end of the project to ensure they have been met.
Create Verifiable Milestones in your Project Schedule - To measure progress make sure you have milestones that can be verified by someone outside your team. This will assist you to measure real progress.
Manage Scope - Ensure the Project Sponsor approves all Scope Change Requests. Make sure you give the project sponsor your opinion whether the Scope Change Request (SCR) should be approved and why or why not.
Track and resolve Project Issues in a Timely Manner - Ensure that you keep an accurate log of Project Issues and that this log is distributed to the Project Team and Sponsor on a regular basis.
Continue to Assess Your Project Risks throughout the Project - When meeting with your team it is a good idea to reassess the Risks you identified in planning and to see if any new Risks have surfaced that need to be captured.
Communicate Status on a Regular Basis - Depending on the size of your project a status report can be delivered orally, via e-mail, formally, via a website or some other mechanism identified in your Project Communications Plan.
Be Personable and Approachable - Many people will be more willing to help the Project Manager if they are friendly, personable, and trustworthy. Don't be arrogant, rigid, or unreasonable. The project probably won't be successful if your team members distrust and dislike you.
Look for the Warning Signs - Is your team's morale low? Is your schedule off course? Are your team members fighting all the time? Is the team working excessive amounts of overtime? You better regroup now before the situation gets out of hand. Bring the sponsor in to your next meeting and let them assess the project by asking then team for a collective status report. Have the sponsor interview team members one-on-one to look for hidden agendas and unspoken fears.
Most of all, Have Fun.
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