Recently, Two Tall Totems met several deadlines on various big projects, all within days of each other. A project isn’t considered successful unless it’s on-time, and on-budget. But how do you go about making sure both criteria are met?
Here are the steps we follow to be sure our projects are delivered on-time and on-budget:
1. Figure Out The Project Scope – And Stick With It
We’ve learned very early on to keep project scope in check. Every project inevitably will have a growing list of “nice to haves,” but are they actually necessary? Scope creep can lead to cancelled projects, as the person in charge of finances realizes the project is severely over budget with no end in sight. Always, always keep scope in mind!
2. Define Project Deliverables
If we don’t know where we’re going, how are we going to get there? Sounds obvious, right? Not only are each project’s deliverables clearly defined, but we also outline what will not be included in the project as well. We state our deliverables in detail and have them signed off and approved. This simple step allows us to more accurately estimate costs, time, and resources.
3. Dedication From The Project Team
To put it bluntly, our team determines the project outcome. Enthused, motivated team members will achieve results far beyond what the project manager anticipates. Our project manager takes care to set reasonable expectations, and clearly identifies tasks and responsibilities for each person. He/She makes sure every team member fully understands their priorities, regardless of full-time or part-time status. Team members, in turn, understand that daily job duties and distractions are not allowed to destroy project timelines.
4. Break Up The Project Plan
We minimize the risk of delays and missed deadlines by breaking up a project into smaller, workable plans that the team can understand. This has the added benefit of allowing our team to see a project in various stages of completion. The project manager stays disciplined and won’t allow these smaller deadlines to slide.
5. Test Early, and Test Often
We don’t wait until the end of the project to let the team see the results of their efforts! Testing is the best way to uncover and correct errors, and stops small mistakes from growing into bigger ones. Testing also allows team members to see their contributions in a tangible way, which in turn boosts morale and leads to a more confident and productive team.
Above all, our project managers are flexible and provide feedback on a continuous basis. This allows our team to better understand our objectives and brings the project into better focus and clarity. Our management team is consistently willing to implement changes that allow projects to be delivered on-time and on-budget. The key here is to run the business and projects efficiently. There is no reason to delay projects that will increase revenue, reduce expenses, or create a better customer experience!
What steps do you use to deliver your projects on deadline? We would love to know. Tweet us at @TwoTallTotems.