Thursday, April 1, 2010

The 5 Goals of a project manager - Guest article by Jason Westland

As a Project Manager, you need to manage people, money, suppliers, equipment—the list is never ending. The trick is to be focused. Set yourself 5 personal goals to achieve. If you can meet these simple goals for each project, then you will achieve total success. So read on, to learn...
The 5 Goals of a Project Manager

These goals are generic to all industries and all types of projects. Regardless of your level of experience in project management, set these 5 goals for every project you manage.

Goal 1: To finish on time

This is the oldest but trickiest goal in the book. It’s the most difficult because the requirements often change during the project and the schedule was probably optimistic in the first place.

To succeed, you need to manage your scope very carefully. Implement a change control process so that any changes to the scope are properly managed.

Always keep your plan up to date, recording actual vs. planned progress. Identify any deviations from plan and fix them quickly.

Goal 2: To finish under budget

To make sure that your project costs don’t spiral, you need to set a project budget at the start to compare against. Include in this budget, all of the types of project costs that will accrue, whether they are to do with people, equipment, suppliers or materials. Then work out how much each task in your plan is going to cost to complete and track any deviations from this plan.

Make sure that if you over-spend on some tasks, that you under-spend on others. In this way, you can control your spend and deliver under  budget.

Goal 3: To meet the requirements

The goal here is to meet the requirements that were set for the project  at the start. Whether the requirements were to install a new IT system, build a bridge or implement new processes, your project needs to produce solutions which meet these requirements 100%.

The trick here is to make sure that you have a detailed enough set of requirements at the beginning. If they are ambiguous in any way, then what was initially seen as a small piece of work could become huge, taking up valuable time and resources to complete.

Goal 4: To keep customers happy

You could finish your project on time, under budget and have met 100% of the requirements—but still have unhappy customers. This is usually because their expectations have changed since the project started and have not been properly managed.

To ensure that your project sponsor, customer and other stakeholders are happy at the end of your project, you need to manage their expectations carefully. Make sure you always keep them properly informed of progress. “Keep it real” by giving them a crystal clear view of progress to date. Let them voice their concerns or ideas regularly. Tell them upfront when you can’t deliver on time, or when a change needs to be made. Openness and honesty are always the best tools for setting customer expectations.

Goal 5: To ensure a happy team

If you can do all of this with a happy team, then you’ll be more than willing to do it all again for the next project. And that’s how your staff will feel also. Staff satisfaction is critical to your project’s success.

So keep your team happy by rewarding and recognizing them for their successes. Assign them work that complements their strengths and conduct team building exercises to boost morale. With a happy motivated team, you can achieve anything!

And there you have it. The 5 goals you need to set yourself for every project.

Of course, you should always work smart to achieve these goals more easily.

Jason Westland has 15 years experience in the project management industry. From his experience he has created software to help speed up the management process. If you would like to find out more information about Jason’s online project management software visit

New interviews of mine in "Stepping into PM"

Soma - a promising and creative new generation blogger has posted another interview of mine here : titled as "Sneak peek into the life of Project Manager's- Pt 1"
The second part of the interview is given hereSneak peek into the life of Project Manager's- Pt 2
(Many project managers have been interviewed here by Soma and mine is located at the bottom most of each page)
These were posted some where in January.. how ever I could not update my readers any time earlier.. sorry for that.
Enjoy the interview!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2009 - Busy year!

2009 is going to be the busiest year in my life abroad so far! My career has progressed into several areas which I have never thought of. How ever there is no major shift from my basic profession - Project management. Even the operational domain also remained the same - Process Industry.

Dec 2008 - March 2009 : Project control & reporting system implementation + Shutdown planning for worlds largest LNG plant at Ras Laffan , Qatar.

March 2009 - September 2009 : Project managing the detailed engineering ,budgeting and legal approval process for a green field chemical blending plant project for a US oil & gas service products major. This was a quite interesting project of managing several technical consultants located at UK, Dubai & Qatar on engineering and commercial aspects. Advance design interfaces management and coordination of virtual teams were the outstanding features of this project, since engineering scope was split between various consultants located in different countries.

October 2009 - Ongoing : Operations manager responsible for the long term maintenance /plant upgradation contract with worlds first commercial Gas to Liquid (GTL) plant at Qatar.

As you can see, the three assignments are quite challenging and different from each other. I have learned and still learning a lot of new things.I will share my experiences and lessons learnt which may benefit my readers in my forthcoming articles.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Caution - Twitterholic crossing!

Readers - Thanks to all those who commented/mailed/tweeted me their comments on my Twitter-Toons.
Here comes the last one.
I dont really wanna make tonnes of them... so here we go: 
{Click the image to enlarge}

Monday, May 4, 2009

Becoming a better PM with Twitter for Dummies!

Click the image to enlarge, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
{Cartoon by Sreejith Kesavan , source image credit: free online grafix- various sources}