Project management for advanced with an optimal planning
Almost every company in the Netherlands, from the SMEs up to the large companies with thousands of employees, projects are running continuously. We love it, launching projects to win customers, implement improvements and achieve goals. The Netherlands is full of project leaders and project managers. Good project management stands or falls with a thorough project planning, and many companies still have a lot of profit to be made.
Getting started is step one…
Anyone can start a project. Formulate a problem statement, invite the right stakeholders and spend a morning brainstorming. So far nothing new under the sun. The trick is then to keep up the momentum in your project and to make progress on a constant basis. After all, you want to deliver results and complete your project within the pre-estimated schedule. At many companies, projects are delayed, not fully completed or even completely stranded. An important reason for this is that the project manager has not had enough control over the progress of his project — although most project managers are not so quick to admit this.
Good planning is half the battle
Project plans 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 quickly becomes a cluttered mess. In general, it is the changes that cause the chaos, such as 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 make a good make a plan is not only a lot easier than Excel, making changes and collaborating in it also becomes a lot easier. The ideal planning software is on any device, any time available through an online platform or app for mobile users. Planning is made a lot easier to understand by the professional software, for example by the graphical representation of a Gantt Chart.
Example of a Gantt chart (source)
Benefits of planning software
Whatever project you lead, working with a good planning via a simple and clear dashboard is always a huge advantage. Firstly, it helps the project manager to have an overview of the project. This allows the manager to see at a glance which phase the project is in and which tasks have already been completed or still need to be completed.
This high degree of control over your project means that fewer meetings are required. 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 planning is crystal clear, project participants will also know exactly what is expected of them and when deadlines are approaching. This reduces the chance of delay or silting up. There is nothing more disastrous for a project than participants who deliver their work too late, because they don't feel involved enough. By working as a project manager from step one with a transparent planning and involving everyone, you limit this risk and ensure that your project will be a success.