team planning project

If there’s one skill that most professionals benefit from, regardless of title, industry or profession, it’s project management. Having a hard time keeping track of your team’s concurrent demands? Need some help managing yourself? Be sure to follow these 4 project management rules to help you get organized and stay on track this summer.

Clearly define your goals.

It should go without saying, but project managers document everything and so should you. Before any work begins, clearly outline your goals and what needs to be achieved as the final result. Whether it’s a sales presentation, a marketing campaign or closet organization, know what you’re trying to accomplish.

Work backwards.

Now that you know the endgame, work your way backwards. Find every achievable step that has to take place for you to get back to the beginning. Assign a due date to each step and delegate to the appropriate person responsible for completion. If you’re managing yourself, that’s you!

Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.

This step doesn’t give you permission to deliver sub-standard work, but rather reminds you to acknowledge that when something is good and solid, you can move on. Small improvements may not yield better results in certain cases. Depending on the specific situation, you’ll need to use your best judgement. Trying to make something that’s already good perfect may take more time and result in a missed deadline. Think it through and accept when things are done.

Establish a risk mitigation plan.

Every plan, whether for a professional or personal goal, is at risk of going off course. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to prepare for potential pitfalls ahead of time. Identify areas of danger and have a plan in place to mitigate against it. For example, imagine your goal is to complete a novel. You’ve decided to spend all your free time writing, however, you’re not a night person. Instead of writing after work when you know your brain isn’t at full capacity, plan to wake up an hour earlier in the morning to get some quality writing done every day.

Whatever you need to accomplish, you’ll be more productive and effective by having a proper plan in place.