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Managing your first project can be daunting. To simplify things, here are five steps critical to the successful management of a project:

Step 1: Initiate the Project by Defining the Scope

This phase typically begins with a business case where you will examine whether the project is feasible and important stakeholders will do their due diligence to help decide to approve the project or not.

Build the project infrastructure based on the problem that needs solving. Put in writing what the expected changes are. What is the end goal? Define the criteria for how the project success will be defined. Determine if there are potential limitations like funding, resources, and time.

manage projects like a proStep 2: Create the Project Plan

The project plan is the core of your project and needs to involve all of the stakeholders and gain their buy-in. The project plan should provide direction over the project’s lifespan. Review the plan with status updates.

The project plan should contain performance measures and any process changes that need to take place and who and what will these changes impact. Define how to address risks should they arise. Determine how your resources will be acquired and maintained and how to reward you team members for achieving milestones. Describe the training required for everyone involved in the project. State your expectations.

Step 3: Initiate the Project Plan

It is the project manager’s job to initiate the project plan and identify adjustments as demanded. When you launch the project, confirm the people who will complete the tasks in the project plan and ensure that everyone understands their role and is aware of the process for communication. Inform team members about beginning and end dates and how they will be affected, and keep them updated on the progress.

Manage the project team by providing sufficient training, monitoring resources, and resolving issues.
Use project management software to create, execute and control projects and facilitate communications.

Project management software like TeamHeadquarters gives project managers a full picture of resource availability across all work (not just projects) and trends before they assign them to tasks.

Step 4: Evaluate and Document Progress

Your time will be spent monitoring and communicating to allow you to assess and document the project’s progress and limitations effectively. When you prepare the documents and reports, ensure they are accurate. Catalog problems as they happen, and make certain the key stakeholders are informed about these issues.

If a problem arises, consider the alternatives and the potential effects. Present the situation and the proposed solutions to your stakeholders. Document any new information you’ve learned to your and re-evaluate periodically.

Step 5: Reach Your Goal, Deliver and Close the Project

The final step in project management involves the evaluation of the project’s achievements and failures which are crucial for the success of future of projects. Deliver the results to the stakeholders and prepare a project closure report with input from the entire team involved in the project.

Include and observations on how to improve on future projects through lessons learned. Distribute the valuable knowledge gained by the experience so that you can apply the positive actions to future projects while avoiding the negative incidents. When a project is correctly concluded, team members are motivated and feel empowered to tackle future projects.

Project management, even for first-time project managers, can be challenging. That’s why project management software, TeamHeadquarters, was designed to help you build projects quickly, make status reports, and produce and disseminate project updates easier.

Click here for your free demo of TeamHeadquarters.