The 3 Critical Elements for Running A Highly Successful Project
Think about the next project you have in mind. Maybe it’s a new product or service coming up at work, or maybe you are about to start organizing the next birthday party of one of your relatives. When you think about running a highly successful project, what comes to your mind? Communicating the right message at the right time to everyone? Making sure the people involved – whether they are your team at work or your close friends at home – is productive and meets all the deadlines?
In a day of inspiration and creativity, you might quickly come up with thousands of factors that could negatively affect the outcome of your project: delays, people’s unavailability, and issues of coordination are just a few of the most common problems. But if you look at all the possible setbacks and carefully analyze them, you will start noticing common patterns. In fact, most of them can be solved if you focus on three essential components of successful project management: efficient communication, centralized resources, and effective task delegation.
Create the Environment for Effective Team Communication and Engagement
The first element is effective communication: making sure that the people involved get the right information at the right time and at the right place.
If you have already managed a team at work, you know how destructive email communication can be. How much time did you spend sending emails over and over again to make sure everyone gets the information? How much time did you have to wait until they replied so you could make sure they understood what you wanted to say?
Using emails as the main communication channel for managing projects is a mistake that comes at a very high cost: it is inefficient, it requires a disproportional amount of effort, and the information gets outdated very quickly. They are one of the examples of what we like to call decentralized communication channels. Think about it this way: when one of the people involved writes you an email and you answer it, a communication channel between the two of you is created. As this process repeats itself with different people, infinite communication channels come to life. The result is: many channels connecting you to each and every person, but none of them integrated nor shared by everyone. The consequence? Huge inefficiencies in every single stage of managing a project, from planning the overall efforts to controlling their respective execution.
Speed Up Communication with the Help of Online Platforms
How can you solve this major issue? The answer lies not in trying to optimize the traditional email, but in using a totally different approach. Online platforms and apps to connect with the people involved in the project are great because they offer the flexibility that is absent in email communication. It is possible to share your ideas instantly, to mention specific members, to create sub-groups focusing on tackling tasks more efficiently, and to easily access all the history of your communications.
Share the Resources of Your Project with Your Team
Let’s admit it: we all have pretty messy computers and laptops when it comes to the organization of our personal files. Take that and multiply it by ten, twenty, or even thirty, and then you understand how harmful it can be to have disconnected resources when executing a project with a team.
How to keep track of the many locations of the files? How to make sure the versions of the files you have access to are the most updated one? Where are the link to that great article? Where was it I could answer that meeting Doodle you created?
Sharing relevant files, links, and online resources with everyone always poses a great challenge to all project teams, but there is a very simple way to work around the problem: centralize them. When we start looking at the benefits of centralizing the process, we start noticing how important it is for the health of our project. It avoids unnecessary communication (a problem discussed above), it guarantees consistency, and it ensures that the most updated information is available for everyone.
Centralize the Resources in One Place
While nowadays it’s not a problem anymore to centralize and version control documents and files on the cloud, most services do not make it easy to include other types of resources. You can use online storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive to keep all your documents in one place and available from every device that has an internet connection, but you will still have to access links such as calendars, Doodles, Google Docs (if you are using Dropbox) separately. Combining the availability of uploaded files together with links to calendars, Doodles, Google Docs, etc. and then giving the user a great structure and overview of the combined resources for the project is where tools like SquidHub really shines.
Precisely Define and Delegate the Tasks of the Project
Managing the tasks and the responsibilities of each member of your team is not an easy task. As your personal or professional project moves forward and its many activities start to unfold, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the demands of each team member.
What are the responsibilities of each person? How do you communicate with them and keep track of their progress? How do you quickly figure out what is the most relevant task to work on?
What teams normally do is to create a spreadsheet with all the tasks and assign someone to each one of them. The spreadsheet is then available to everyone (hopefully following our best practices suggested above), and people can quickly see their scope within the project. The problems, however, start when the tasks begin to change, when people become unavailable, or when you have to track the progress of your team members individually.
If you go online and look for a project management solution, many platforms will offer you the possibility of creating and delegating tasks. However, they fall short of implementing the flexibility required for the communication and the resource management activities listed above. Also they are often complex solution which ends up not being used, because team members simply do not want to spend to much time on updating progress reports, etc.
We believe the simplest and best approach to handling team task management is using a multiple but simple todo lists. Each individual list is given a title or inserted into a syste, which makes it possible for the team members to know which tasks they should focus on. The title or system to organize the lists could be the priority of tasks in a given list ie. “Urgent tasks”, “High priority tasks” , “Low priority tasks”, etc. This simple list approach is what we have build into SquidHub, where you in each individual group can have multiple lists that you can organize the way you want to.
Successful Project Management – How SquidHub Increases Efficiency by Simplifying Processes
Even if you centralize all the three elements in dedicated apps, there is still something missing: they are not connected among themselves. You will keep having to access different platforms, move information around unnecessarily, and repeat tasks that could be done with the click of a button.
So how can you overcome this final barrier and take your project to the next level? This is where SquidHub comes in. Our ultimate goal is to make the management of your personal and professional projects as simple as possible. Our tool offers a centralized platform where you can connect with people, organize your files, and manage the tasks of your team. You don’t need to keep track of different websites and folders on your computer because we centralize these three main tasks in a very intuitive and straightforward dashboard. When you open the app, the first thing you see is an overview of the current stage of your project, and from there you are able to implement the relevant changes and communicate them to your team.
So what are you waiting for? SquidHub is free so you might as well see it is something for you!
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