What separates a great project lead from the just average? The answer: How they manage projects when problems arise and how they maintain efficiency when facing derailing deadlines, falling budgets and sudden leaves.
While the misreporting of the project status, at all levels of the firm, is often to blame for rising costs or project failures, failures or inefficiencies arising from sudden leaves of team members or a manager is a rising issue that’s been neglected in recent times.
Instead of taking everyone’s availability for granted, project leaders should have backup plans to solicit the efficiency of the project. Additionally, they should look at the resources that can streamline the project in case an existing project manager leaves. Here are some of the things you can do if a manager leaves:
Learn about project consultants
When an important member of a project team leaves, project consultants can fill the void left by them. Extreme Technologies Inc points out that there are companies that specialize in providing vetted project consultants for a wide variety of projects. Companies may need outside consultancy or subject matter expertise when someone from their internal team leaves temporarily or permanently. Clients can utilize the hybridized approach of relying on experts when they need them.
Furthermore, the availability of consultants isn’t determined by who’s available. Companies that provide such solutions hand pick talent depending on their experience to handle a project and define the required resources. Experienced consultants or project managers can even handle the entire project lifecycle, giving you the ability to maintain project efficiency.
Storyboarding should be on your agenda
One of the best ways to maintain project efficiency is through “storyboarding”. This is when you create a visual image of the project so that everyone can contribute to it. On this storyboard, you can write the names of individuals who’ll be handling the important processes. As a result, you can have a visual representation of the project at hand, showing who’s supposed to do what. Then you can write the name of people who’re expected to go on holidays, take a temporary leave, or change jobs.
With this layout, you can move around responsibilities, and change schedule and order by bringing in new project managers. You can also change the deadline. Exceptional project leaders are masters at using storyboarding to balance demand (processes required to complete the project) and supply (resources required to complete the project). Visual and forecasting tools go a long way in reducing project schedule thrash.
Communication plays a role
A successful project lead should hold frequent meetings with project managers to check if everyone is fulfilling their responsibilities, and to see if anyone is facing issues with the project and wants to quit/leave to work on something else. Doing so will give you time to re-plan tasks at the early stages of the project lifecycle. It’s also a good way to increase the effort put in by team members who’re interested in the project.
You can also try out pair-programming when communicating with everyone involved in the project. This can work both for improving the team’s cross-functionality and bringing in new recruits if anyone leaves. One approach could be to hold a meeting with new people and then pair them with those who are only a few steps ahead of them in the project.