Virtually every company in the Netherlands, from the SMEs up to the large companies with thousands of employees, projects run continuously. We love to launch projects and thereby attract customers, implement improvements and achieve objectives. The Netherlands is therefore full of project leaders and project managers. Good project management stands or falls with sound project planning and there is still a lot to be gained in many companies.
Starting is step one ...
Everyone can start a project. Formulate a problem statement, invite the right stakeholders and brainstorm one morning. So far nothing new under the sun. The trick is then to keep up the pace in your project and to make progress on a constant basis. After all, you want to deliver results and complete your project within the previously estimated range. At many companies, projects are delayed, they are not fully completed or they even fail completely. An important reason for this is that the project manager has had insufficient control over the progress of his project - although most project managers will not readily admit that.
Good planning is half the battle
Project schedules come in all shapes and sizes. Novice project managers, often still responsible for smaller projects with relatively few stakeholders and budget, usually start working in Excel. There is not much wrong with that on a small scale, but with larger projects, an Excel sheet soon becomes an unclear knit. It is generally the changes that cause the chaos, think of stakeholders who change or expand the project in the meantime. More experienced project managers often work with special planning software that can implement these changes well.
That professional software to be a good one make a plan is not only a lot easier than Excel, the implementation of changes and collaboration in also becomes a lot easier. The ideal planning software is up any device, any time available through an online platform or app for mobile users. Planning becomes a lot easier to understand by professional software, for example by the graphic representation of a Gantt chart.
Example of a Gantt chart (source)
Advantages of planning software
Whatever project you lead, working with good planning via a simple and well-arranged dashboard is always a huge plus. First, it helps the project manager to have an overview of the project. In this way the manager can see at a glance which phase the project is in and which tasks have already been completed or have yet to be completed.
This high degree of control over your project means that there is less need for meetings. Many employees hate long meetings where everyone updates each other. When you implement a working method that ensures that not only the project manager, but also the participants can easily share updates and thus have an overview of the entire project, you need to consult less and spend more on work. After all, time is still money.
Because your schedule is crystal clear, project participants will also know very well what is expected of them and when deadlines are approaching. This reduces the risk of delay or silting. Nothing is as disastrous for a project as participants who deliver their work too late, because they feel too little involved. By working as a project manager from step one with transparent planning and involving everyone in it, you limit this risk and ensure that your project is a success.