Have you ever been looking for project management advice only to be left with conflicting information or tips that don’t work? If you answered “yes”, you are not the only one. Kevin Korterud of the Project Management Institute recognizes that there are a lot of project management rules floating around out there. After looking at “Kelly’s 14 Rules & Practices” by Kelly Johnson, the founder of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works® for Advanced Development Projects, Korterud has compiled and adapted three tips to make your project management more successful:
- The number of people connected to the project must be aggressively restricted.
- There must be a minimum number of reports required, but important work must be recorded thoroughly.
- There must be a monthly cost review covering not only what has been spent and committed, but also projected costs to the conclusion of the program.
We have all heard the phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth.” The same can be said for projects, according to Korterud:
The number of people connected to the project must be aggressively restricted. For me, it has been quite common to have people seek a connection to a project, especially if it has had a high degree of executive visibility. Project managers who invest in aggressive stakeholder management — that is, blocking non-essential roles — have clearer communication in their projects and better-defined roles, which also helps new team members know their role relative to others on the team.
While reporting on the status of a project is important, Korterud notes that occasionally people will put more time into reporting on the project than they do the project itself. Focusing on a small number of essential metrics such as budgets, milestones, and changes for example is recommended. According to Korterud, this makes everything easier to understand for the project team as well as for stakeholders.
Finally, keeping track of costs is absolutely crucial to keeping your project in line. Having a monthly cost review allows your project team to see where they are succeeding as far as the budget is concerned, where they might need work, and how to plan for the future. These three tips may seem simple, and they are. Sometimes, simple steps toward success are the best courses of action.