— By Dilip Barot, Founder, Creative Choice Group
When project managers plot out a course for a project, they all too often take missteps that ultimately result in a project’s failure. Managers may have to deal with an unrealistic outlook, limited resources, a budget that is less than ideal, and other factors that can sabotage a project’s success. With so many obstacles in front of a project, whether that project is call center campaign implementation or anything else, how can a manager set up his or her team for success? These five best practices may help:
- Objectively Analyze Issues:All aspects of the project should be analyzed objectively, without emotion and with a focus on clarity. This means that the project manager needs to always consider the interests of third-party vendors, stakeholders, and everyone else who is involved. This process should continue throughout the project’s duration.
- Create a Realistic ScheduleCall center management is a delicate balancing act; you want to be optimistic about reaching objectives, but you don’t want to be so optimistic that you set yourself up for failure. Take into account the project’s limitations and potential roadblocks so you can draft a production schedule that aligns with your goals and does not put undue pressure on you. Keep a close eye on the project’s progress, and regularly discuss key dates in the project with your team.
- Use Real Time MonitoringUnless you constantly stay on top of a project’s progress, you may think that all is well when it is really not. How have things gone so far? Are all the pieces in place for the next phase of the project? Use metrics and other indicators so you have a clear view of both the project’s past and future.
- Set and Manage ExpectationsAvoid setting your heart on overly optimistic deployment dates and unrealistic goals for deliverables. Don’t put on your rose-colored glasses. From the get-go, set practical goals for each stage of the project, and make sure that everyone involves understands these goals and keeps them in mind. You don’t want your team to get bogged down by everyday details and forget the project’s overall objective.
- Take Advantage of External AuditsGetting a fresh perspective from someone outside the project can help you objectively monitor its progress. You can also get new ideas on how to improve implementation, and you may get the reassurance you need to set aside any doubts and misgivings you have. Try to find a true implementation expert to help with these audits.
Project success is never a given, but the above best practices can make it more likely that you’ll reach your goals.