As you grow in your project manager career it is likely that you will take on larger projects with greater responsibility. This can be an initially terrifying task, but larger projects do not need to be feared. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen suggests some tactics to help you overcome new challenges with large projects. There are eight suggestions:
- Acknowledge the need for more control.
- Discover the right experts.
- Conduct more testing.
- The team needs leadership.
- Manage stakeholders.
- Establish formal governance.
- Control scope.
- Manage risks.
The XL Approach
Larger projects are more complex and can create greater risks. Project managers will need to utilize more mature project management tools that allow for them to have greater control. The greater the risk, the more structure there should be. When projects are more complicated, technical project managers will need the assistance of experts to help them deliver a successful project. Whoever the expert is, they should be able to understand the end user’s wants and be able to articulate them well to the project team.
With more technical projects, there should be an increase in the amount of quality assurance testing. In order to do this effectively, everyone on the team should understand how this quality assurance will occur and what is expected of them. Any team likewise needs to have a strong leader who pushes them to meet their full potential. Project managers need to be true leaders, not just the person handing out tasks.
Large projects will likely mean that there are more stakeholders to interact with. More stakeholders may be initially intimidating, but it is still important for the project manager to actively engage and interact with all of them. Communication is an imperative element in healthy relationships.
Oftentimes, a larger project can benefit from a formal governance structure. This will help to dictate a line of reporting that everyone understands, as well as determine who needs to attend which meetings. With bigger projects there is more going on, and this likely means that the scope will change throughout the project. A change in scope is not detrimental to a project’s success, as long as the project manager stays on top of it.
The management of risks is even more important when it comes to larger projects. Risk management is too often treated like a task that is either completed or not when in actuality it is a continuous process. In order to best stay on top of risks there should be joint responsibility of the whole team, and there should be joint assessments of the risks and how likely they are to occur.
You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/overcome-challenges-managing-larger-project/