Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 8:51 am on

Over the years, I have successfully managed a number of projects teams and did so without the benefit of special courses or training. Until I decided to write this entry, I never gave much thought as to the process, but this is a reasonable outline of the steps that have worked for me:

  1. Clearly define the objective in detail.
  2. Define the resources answering the following:
    Who will be on the team?
    Who will we need outside our organization?
    What kind of supplies do we need and who are the possible sources?
    How much can we spend?
  3. Timing:
    When is it due?
    Cost restraints that might affect timing?
  4. Detail the basic steps of the project in a memo and distribute to the team.
  5. Meeting #1:
    Seek the team’s input on the basic steps and the timing issues.
    Refine the basic steps and resolve any timing conflicts.
    Assign the basic steps and request that assignee(s) break down their basic steps into secondary steps and submit in writing to other team members prior to Meeting #2.
    Set a date and time for Meeting #2.
  6. Meeting #2:
    Discuss secondary steps and refine as appropriate.
    Set a date and time for Meeting #3.
  7. Using the results from Meeting #2, write a preliminary plan including responsibilities and timing. Submit to the team prior to Meeting #3.
  8. Meeting #3:
    Finalize the plan adjusting timing providing flexibility.
    Agree upon regularly scheduled meeting times and dates.
  9. Develop a report to systematically track the following:
    Basic and secondary steps
    Where each step stands in relation to the timing goal
    Issue the updated report to the team prior to each meeting.
  10. Subsequent Meetings:
    Discuss progress and timing issues.
    Keep meetings short and try to do problem-solving outside this format
  11. Publicly recognize and laud team member(s) success.
  12. Meet with each team member one-on-one on their turf for informal updates.
  13. Fully document the details of the project.

The scope and complexity of the project will govern whether some of these steps should be expanded or eliminated.

Good project management requires attention to detail, constant follow-up and strong motivational skills. Keep this in mind when selecting a project team leader.

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