Please Leave the Project Better Than How You Found It

11 Jun

While enjoying a relaxing day walking along the beach at beautiful Lake Tahoe today, I happen to come across a sign that read, “Please Leave the Park Better than How You Found It.”  I didn’t think much of the sign, other than the kind reminder, until later when I came home and was set upon writing a blog post.  When thinking about this statement in the terms of project management, it is a goal in which all project managers strive for in managing their projects: a project manager takes on a project in the hopes that its end results puts the business in a better position than it was in before the project began. 

As a project manager, I always strives to think of ways to increase efficiencies, enhance processes, add value to an organization, and leave/end a project better than before I started it.  So in reflecting upon that sign I read today in regards to project management, I came up with the following list of tips that have helped me to manage a project that leaves the organization better off that when I first began the project.

  • Be Very Organized and On Top Of Things
  • Have Clear Project Goals, Objectives,  Defined Processes
  • Good Network/Mentors/Go-To Contacts:  It is very helpful to have a maintain good relationships and grow your network of contacts, as they can provide guidance, knowledge, and can help you out when you resolve issues or make decisions
  • Great Communication Flow: Keep team members well-informed of project changes, so they know the status of the project
  • Provide Constant Feedback to Project Team Members
  • Listen to Concerns of Others and Follow up: This shows others that their concerns matter and someone is addressing their concerns
  • Constant Review and Monitoring of Project Progress
  • Good Management of Problems and Quick Turnaround to Resolving Any Issues that Arise
  • Strong Leadership Skills
  • Ways to Motivate Others to Do Their Best
  • Receive Weekly Status Reports: This can be done by e-mail or weekly meetings
  • Hold a Lessons Learned Session:  This helps the project manager understand both what is working well, so it is continued, and what is not working, so you can fix these issues in future projects.  It is important to follow up on these issues, so the team members see that their feedback matters
  • Project Documents Source: I use a SharePoint to upload important project documents, so it provides my project team members a one-stop reference point with helpful information
  • Meeting Agenda/Minutes: It is important to make a meeting agenda to help your meetings stay on task and minutes for others to reference
  • Strong Time Management Skills
  • Show Appreciation of Team Members Hard Work
What traits/tips have helped you to manage a project better and leave lasting results for the organization?

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