OUR EXPERIENCE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: LESSONS LEARNED AND BEST PRACTICES

project management

We would like to share with you the clues that have worked for us regarding project management in our company. This is a reflection based on our experience that includes best practices and lessons learned and we hope you will be able to implement those in your everyday work lives.

 


 

Factors to take into account about project management

It is not always easy to find a solution to a necessity raised by a potential customer. Mainly due to the fact that sometimes, the customer’s necessities are not clear, or if they are, they evolve over time. In order to face this situation, our position when designing a personalized solution for the identified challenge is based on:

  • Actively listening
  • Research with different partners to make sure the necessity is shared.
  • Propose a Customer Centric solution

Fortunately, our company lives by what we stand for. This means that our clients are the center and there is no condition that interferes with the solution we present, always aimed to fulfill their objectives. At the same time, consultants at Buljan&Partners are equally important. They are involved since the opportunity identifications, followed by the construction of the solution proposed and the defense of that solution before the client. This way, their compromise with the project execution is reinforced, assuring the quality promised to the client.

As one of our consultants explained when we were preparing this article:

  • I personally had the opportunity to be involved in all phases of project management, from start to end: identification of opportunities, construction of solutions and the defense of those before all clients, whom I later managed a project or participated with. Because of this, I know the relevance those details have when implementing any quality project. You feel responsible for what has been sold and do everything you can so that the project becomes a reality successfully.”

 

The importance of expectations management

From then on, the so-feared expectations management (external and internal) begins, being key to assure the success of any project. Sometimes it seems that we speak different languages when interpreting texts and slides and you will always find people that demands way more than the approved project. Therefore, it is important to know how to manage the limits to guarantee a good relation between professionals. In parallel, there is the need to well define the tasks to be executed all along the project, also to establish what is expected from every team member and to keep track of the project to assure quality or give visibility to the team before the client. These aspects are highly important and necessary for any project management process or, better said, for people management regarding the execution to any successful project.

We have several examples that come to mind when talking about expectative management. This is possibly the biggest obstacle we have encountered with during our more than 15 years as consultants and trainers. It is complicated to carry out because of the necessity to be assertive and, at the same time, know how to say no, endangering in some occasions the development of the project. However, we think that establishing limits is a competence that makes you even more professional, and in fact, we have never experience that a project is paralyzed because managing collaboration limits.

Some of the difficulties we have encountered are:

  • Shift in focus
  • Request of more activities to be carried out
  • Emotional management of the project team
  • Management of routine tasks while preserving team motivation
  • Different interests for the same projects and many interlocutors
  • Need to extend the budget for the project
  • Change of main interlocutor
  • Time restrictions
  • Supplier management to fulfill client promises

 

As we explained, the common ingredients to all of them have been attitude transparency and assertiveness.

 

The relations management in project management

Even though all what we have mentioned is important, there is something we find key when successfully managing any project: the relations management. What determines success is how we empathize with our clients (external and internal), how we understand them and put ourselves in their place to anticipate any possible necessity, but above all, how we treat the teams. A project may be perfectly executed, but without a good emotional management, we not only won’t be making any difference, but also the quality in project execution may be jeopardized.

 

At Buljan&Partners we try to emotionally take care of the teams with details of any kind that close the cycle of management with a differential result.