Five Reasons to Add Project Planning (Back On) To Your List
We all know how important planning any project is, but for some reason it always ends up at the bottom of our list – and sometimes it doesn’t even make the list! Of course, no one likes to admit it – but sometimes you just don’t want to do it. And we’ve been there, we’ll hold our hands up to that, but we also know of some easy ways to motivate ourselves to put it back on our lists.
#1: Get yourself some project software
First step, take the hassle out of project management and planning by getting a clever little piece of software to do if for you. Yes, it might take a bit of time to learn and get yourself familiar with, but in the long run, when projects come your way – bang! You’ll have sorted out those fancy looking, colour coded Gantt charts out in no time.
#2: Dedicate a member of your team to lead the management of the project
Just like you have a project leader to take charge and ultimately be the decision-maker, having someone specifically to take charge of the project plan means you’re less likely to end up with an out of date project plan, because everyone thought everyone else was doing it.
Make it easier on your team and avoid everyone looking shiftily at their feet when the project plan is mentioned, by having one person take on that responsibility.
Side-note: You may also notice communication amongst the team improves too…
#3: You’ll be prepared for those curveballs…and yes, there will be curveballs
Project management is not only pro-active (carefully planning out future tasks), but also re-active. Unexpected things will come up and potentially throw a curveball at your carefully constructed plan, but hey, that’s ok – that’s why you’ve already nailed motivational reason #1 (get yourself some project software).
All you have to do is go back to your project plan, update the appropriate fields, et voila! you’ll either know how best to get your project back on track, or how you might need to rethink or delay your timeline or reallocate your resources.
#4: It makes prioritising simple and straight forward
When you’ve got several projects on the go it’s not always easy to see which individual task on your list should be the one to tackle first. Project planning helps you and your team see who’s doing what and when so you can know who’s dependent on a particular task – avoiding project hold-ups because Sally didn’t realise that the task at the bottom of her list was crucial to everyone else’s work.
#5: It all (or often) comes down to the bottom line $$$/£££/€€€
Quite often projects are commissioned on the basis of a fixed budget and we all know that efficiency of resources will help keep those costs down. So project planning is vital on this front to ensure you’re managing your team to optimal efficiency, whilst balancing it with all the other projects you’ve currently got going on.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that project planning is not only an investment that benefits your team, but also rather importantly, your client. Which, when only 29% of businesses are likely to deliver projects to budget*, makes for a pretty big differentiator.
So there we have it – 5 reasons why you should really put project planning back on your list of things to do, with regular check-ups of course. But if, after all that, you’re still not sure how you’ll fit it in, why not come and have a chat with us or check out this post on how to get started with your project plan.
We’re very accustomed to project planning, here at Coussins Associates – and we’ve been asked by a few clients to help with the management and planning of theirs. If you’d like to know a bit more, or just want to chat about some of your options, get in touch by contacting us via this link, here.
* KPMG, Project Management Survey, 2017