Product development milestones such as new product releases, bug fixes and feature enhancements are often used to measure progress. However, these traditional measurements of growth progress.
It’s a busy world for a product manager. Today the product manager has to deal with lots of challenges and difficulties. There is never enough time in the day, and it seems that with every release, new features accumulate which require your immediate attention. No matter how much you try to delegate responsibility to others, there’s no way you can personally do everything required of the job. In order to make sure that each important task is completed properly and thoroughly within a specified timeframe for each project, defining accepted standards is essential – not only for yourself but for your team as well. And the way to achieve this is through good planning.
What many people don’t realize is that while project management may seem like a powerful tool, it’s often a case of the blind leading the blind. What I mean by that is that most people think they know what needs to be done and how best to do it – until they have tried before and seen things fail… only then do they realize there are better ways to manage their time and resources. In my experience, even seasoned veterans who have been in the trenches for years still sometimes lack a proper understanding of how to effectively organize themselves or other members of their team. The end result can be an ineffective PMO functioning at less than half-strength.
When I was working in the telecoms industry, I dealt with project management on a daily basis – but it wasn’t until after I had moved to my current job that I realized how much more effective an organized PMO could be. It takes time and effort to get things done properly, but when you have finished your PMO will be running smoothly and most importantly of all, so will the projects themselves!
So without further ado here are some tips for organizing your PMO:
Have A Set Of Standardised Templates For Your Projects
It sounds obvious, but too often people overlook the importance of having standardized templates for their projects that include everything from Gantt charts to risk registers to online whiteboards. Not only will this vastly simplify project communication, but it will also increase the productivity of the PMO by ensuring that all templates are completed in less than half the time they would be otherwise.
Not All Formalities Are Evil!
I know, I know… everyone is against formality these days and how it stifles creativity and whatnot. However, when you’re trying to run a business there are certain formalities that just need to be adhered to if you want things done properly. A good example of this is the set timeline for your projects. Also, ensuring that deadlines are kept is essential for running efficient projects! Don’t forget though, formality does not equal bureaucracy (not always at least), inflexibility can often lead to great opportunities, but requires planning and foresight.
Keep Your Business Structured
The structure is the key to efficiency; which means no [expletive] surprises. Every business you run will be different, and it’s important to keep your organization structured in such a way that allows for things like hiring (or firing), reporting, profits and losses, etc. This can be done through things like project management software (Trello & JIRA are great!). Automated invoicing systems, or even just writing lists on sheets of paper! You can also use client portal software to keep your business structured and communication clear with both clients and team members.
Hire Employees Rather Than Selling Yourself Out!
As a small-time graphic designer. I’m always tempted to take on work from other companies so I can get myself out there. But there is usually a list of problems that follow this kind of business model.
If you take the time to structure yourself as an actual company. It’s much easier to hire people who are willing to work for you. They will be able to help with the things that aren’t your strengths. Which means that you can produce higher quality work at a faster pace! This also stops you from getting overwhelmed and burnt out. Which should keep you fresh and ready for work when clients come knocking.
Always Be On The LookOut For New Business!
This should obviously go without saying, but don’t wait until it’s too late before doing something about it. If someone just came up to me on the street. Offered $5,000 for a job then I would definitely take it. If you have to, tell your current clients that you are looking for other work. So that they understand why you might not be around 24/7!
The Client Comes First, Every Time
If the client isn’t happy with what you are doing then they won’t pay you. Simple as that. So if their demands don’t seem logical or feasible, feel free to ask them which ones are more important. Maybe try compromising on others. But make sure they get their money’s worth no matter what it takes! Don’t worry about getting paid in full before starting work for them either. Because there really is no reason that whatever payment schedule works for both of you can’t be agreed upon.
Time is Money, Friend!
If the client wants a project completed in a week, you have other commitments already booked out for that time. It’s best to let them know as soon as possible so that they can either find someone else or reschedule. If you do take on their request then your workload will be extremely stressful. It might even start eating into your sleep time but it’ll still be worth the money! So try not to leave all of your clients waiting around wondering where their next assignment is coming from. Or how long it’s going to take because if you already have too much on your plate. And then another one asking for your immediate attention could quickly make things drastically worse!
Shahid Shahmiri is a digital marketer who helps online businesses grow with smart marketing tactics to improve sales and leads. He is passionate and driven to grow businesses online and is responsible for analyzing marketing, SEO, growth and managing promotional and media channels.