It is often said that “the devil is in the details” – and if they are wrong, it can mean the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful project.
If you’re working on a big project that requires attention to small details, it’s important to keep your team organized and have a plan. You can also benefit from prioritizing certain tasks and holding team members accountable throughout the project lifecycle.
To help keep the organization running during a complex project, nine members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs explain some key strategies to keep your team on track.
1. Define milestones
Defining milestones and maintaining a consistent pace through weekly or biweekly sprints is a great way to continuously monitor the project. Larger projects are actually easier to manage compared to quick build-outs. The margin of error on a small job can easily be five to ten times the entire project itself, while assigning a suitable buffer for a larger build allows for some safety nets. When in doubt, approach the project from different perspectives. Perform a simple functional analysis and share the key components. Build a use case diagram: What are the roles and entry points of key actions the system supports? Set milestones for key initiatives within the project. Schedule vacations or time off for team members. You’ll be ready to go in no time! – Mario Peshevi, DevriX
2. Prioritize tasks
List your priorities. Working on a large project with a team requires a laundry list of tasks to complete. It goes without saying that some tasks are more important than others. Depending on the nature of the project, the team or both, there will be some shuffling on the priority list. But in my experience leading a team on complex and daunting projects, I believe that some tasks remain a high priority across the board. The first would be attitude. Team dynamics and leadership’s approach to problem solving are often the overwhelming factor in a project’s success. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
3. Make sure the team understands the vision and purpose
One strategy I have found useful for large and highly detailed projects is to have a clear vision and purpose for the project. It can be difficult to stay motivated when a team is working on a project without a vision or purpose. Make sure the team clearly understands the outcome and what they are trying to achieve. The vision and outcome must be clear before you even begin, and the team must work within that vision. I also like to use a project management application or software where everyone can view, discuss and more the work. Another way I like to get things done is to take a break. When you come back you are refreshed. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
4. Break big tasks into phases
It is important to divide large projects into phases. With a task-oriented overview, you can map out important details to prevent them from being overlooked. Psychologically, the tasks will seem less intimidating and your team may feel accomplished when stages are marked ‘complete’. Share the overview with all team members so that each person can be a different pair of eyes to make sure nothing is incomplete. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
5. Create clarity and accountability
Clarity and accountability are the two saving graces for any large, complex project. I’m a firm believer in delineating a task in ridiculous detail, assigning it to one person with a deadline to thoroughly manage the task, and making sure that each task is extremely clear to every person involved – not just the person doing the job. task. When all people can see every moving part, clearly understand their individual tasks, and have public responsibility with a deadline to complete it, the process is highly effective. Clarity is good for everyone, and if we keep things clear and bite-sized, major projects are completed excellently and on time, making it easy for us to take big steps as a team. – Nic DeAngelo, We buy loans quickly
6. Schedule Weekly Meetings
A weekly meeting, scheduled at the same time each week, works well for us. We discuss the next steps for the project and assign to the next meeting who is responsible for making those things happen. We document everything in an email, including the tasks and who is assigned to them. Then, at the start of the next meeting, we check in using the email and discuss who was responsible for making those things happen. As we check off all completed tasks, we talk about how we can move the project forward and assign the next tasks to be completed the following week. It’s a great way to move the project forward, maximize the efficiency of time spent together each week, and keep everyone fully informed about their role in the project and what is expected of them for the week ahead . – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo
7. Define processes for next steps
Large projects with many moving parts and important details can undoubtedly be difficult to manage. While organizational tools and project management software like monday.com or Teamwork can help break down big projects into smaller chunks, they’re only as good as the people using them. Due to this fact, it is important to create a well-defined process that is documented for all team members to reference quickly when they are unclear about what their specific next step is. For example, if the team member turns in a deliverable, does he check the task off as ‘complete’ or leave it to his project manager to mark as completed after reviewing the work? Making these small details clear in a procedural document may seem daunting, but it can save your business countless wasted hours and downtime. – Richard Fong, Insured standard
8. Make a project plan
One strategy you can use to keep yourself and your team organized is to create a project plan. This plan should include all the tasks that must be completed, who is responsible for each task, and when the task must be performed. This will help you stay on track and make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s also important to keep communication open with your team so that everyone is aware of any changes or updates to the project. To make all this possible, use a solid project management tool with all the features you need to make things work. – Syed Balkan, WPBeginner
9. Use project management software
My team and I use Asana for project management. It allows us to view the project in a list view or timeline view, allowing us to switch between tasks and large image items. We can also create columns for each team member’s topic of conversation during meetings, create sections to put things on the table and identify what are high priority items. We can then assign each line item to a member of our team with an expiration date. Each team member can change the way they view the project based on due dates, priority levels, or just the tasks they are responsible for. When a task is completed, each member can change their settings to receive a daily, weekly, or no notification at all. Asana’s mobile and desktop apps are simple, easy to use, and have options to personalize the aesthetic. – Givelle Laman, Law firm Lamano