All successful enterprises have one thing in common: a solid project management foundation. The more complicated an organization, the greater the impact on the entire business. Project management entails more than just shared calendars and meetings. This blog will present 5 effective tips to improve enterprise project management for anyone participating in projects to succeed.
What is Enterprise Project Management?
In general, Enterprise Project Management (EPM) refers to project management on a company-wide or cross-team scale. EPM is critical in many areas of ensuring that a business runs as smoothly as possible. What distinguishes Enterprise Project Management (EPM) from other project management methodologies is that, rather than referring to a single, small-scale project, an enterprise project often focuses on the organizational level, prioritizing business goals as well as broader company initiatives and objectives.
Why is Enterprise Project Management important?
When a large-scale and cross-departmental project has started, failing to have a solid plan in place to oversee and track progress can result in wasted efforts, duplication of work, communication gaps, inconsistent quality, delayed milestones, and, worst of all, a discouraged group of employees who lose motivation.
Whether you’re an Enterprise Project Management (EPM) veteran or just getting started, here are 6 tips to assist you and your company to improve enterprise project management.
1. Spend extra time on the initial planning and goal setting
Planning is critical to the success of a company-wide project involving numerous parties and elements, yet its significance and impact are frequently underestimated. True, project scopes and needs may change often, making execution and resource alignment difficult for project owners to follow through on. If the project objectives diverge too far from what was originally anticipated, the entire team must reconsider whether the adjustments are legitimate and acceptable. Fortunately, there are a few pointers to help you nail the initial planning step and prevent some of the consequences of poor planning and communication.
- Defining your goals and objectives: As a project manager or stakeholder, ensure that you are aligning the big picture goals and objectives. This is critical to your future success. Loosely stated goals and objectives can be disastrous because you won’t have anything to refer to when making difficult decisions later on. What are your main pillars from which you should not deviate? What are the key points to remember when scopes must be changed caused by unexpected situations (such as COVID-19)? This stage may take a few weeks or even months to complete because it will serve as the foundation and north star for everyone moving ahead.
- Set milestones and checkpoints: Once you’ve put out the main directions and essential pillars (and all parties and stakeholders have agreed on them), you’ll need to create milestones. It is just as crucial to have milestones as it is to have key foundations. To begin, a complex project can take years from start to finish, and you will need to divide it into stages or you will quickly lose sight of the progress. Second, reaching milestones indicates success at various phases. The final delivery is defined by a succession of milestones and successes. When a milestone is accomplished, take the time to congratulate yourself and the others involved to let them know that everything is on track and that everyone’s efforts are paying off.
- Conduct risk analysis: Analyzing risks and developing mitigation strategies can make or destroy a project. Project leaders and stakeholders must thoroughly understand where the risks are and have specific measures in place to avoid derailing progress or spending extra costs as a result of failing to anticipate risks and responding slowly to them.
- Analyze previous issues and learn from previous mistakes: As project leaders, you must seek guidance from colleagues and other project leaders with experience on some of the challenges and issues before everyone dives in and starts working. Even if you don’t finish everything before starting a new project, it will surely prepare you for what’s ahead and how you may prepare. You can try to be as prepared as possible, which will boost your confidence and make the project less stressful.
- Explore various project management methodologies: As a project leader or manager, one of your primary responsibilities is to decide how the project will be handled and executed. There are numerous common project management methodologies that are now employed by enterprises all around the world.
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2. Having an open and transparent communication culture and channel
The project planning can be done by a few people, but getting things done on time demands everyone’s involvement. Some even claim that “over-communication” might help you go a long way if done correctly. The disadvantage of having a poor communication structure is that it can lead to diversion from objectives, failure to refine over time, and transparency gaps.
- Setting the culture and supporting open communication: The tone you set from the start will determine whether or not people involved in the project can develop open communication. One of your responsibilities as a project manager or leader is to create a culture that allows everyone to share their ideas, whether positive or negative. Getting everyone on board will take time, but it is critical because you cannot possibly monitor every single detail. Other project managers and stakeholders will be relying on you to actively call meetings, exchange information, and discuss feedback. You can set a good example by inviting everyone to share their feedback during weekly meetings, which will help people become more comfortable speaking up.
- Make information available and easily accessible: Ensuring the transparency of an enterprise project is a difficult task. Some information may be on a need-to-know basis in a large organization, making it difficult for people to quickly access the information they require. Then you should form a team or hire someone to parse the data and act as a link between various stakeholders and teams. To protect your interests, avoid hiding information, as this could result in repetitive work, wasted time, and disgruntled employees. If your project is transparent, you could obtain feedback on what kind of information should be made available to help the most people.
- Use collaboration and communication tools to improve productivity: using emails and offline documents is no longer suitable for the fast-paced nature of project management. It’s also in your best interest as a project manager or leader to identify the best collaboration tools, such as project management software, that can boost everyone’s productivity and streamline everything from communication to information sharing to feedback loops and more.
> Project management & collaboration tools: Restya, Asana, Trello, and Monday are all good options. These tools are specially designed for project management, task assignment, progress tracking, and integration with existing platforms such as email and Instant Messaging apps.
> Communication tools: Slack or Microsoft Team are two applications specifically created for communication, and both enable a wide range of integration so you may optimize your project operations rather than requiring members to manage more tools than they can handle.
3. Keeping track of your progress and ensuring that everyone is on the same page is essential
The ability to manage time and progress is virtually always the key to successful project management, especially at the enterprise level. This will take up most of your time as a project manager or leader. Progress tracking allows you to have a better knowledge of the project’s various phases, resource allocation, and the status of each team. The aforementioned milestones are another important part of tracking the development. Milestones allow you to assess progress while also recognizing the work of the team. Here are some pointers to help you get the hang of measuring your progress:
- Weekly reports and meetings: While no one likes meetings or drafting reports when done properly and efficiently, they are excellent tools to keep stakeholders on the same page. You should clearly define what should and should not be included in the reports as project lead. When conducting meetings, be ready to act as the facilitator to prevent wasting time on meetings that don’t provide outcomes.
- Having a good escalation process in place: Once the project is started, there will be problems and issues to deal with along the way. Knowing when to escalate issues to your superiors or stakeholders who require the knowledge to make a decision is one part of risk management. As a project manager, you must handle escalation in a professional and timely manner. Knowing how to use the appropriate escalation strategies is essential for removing the obstacles. This entails gathering the necessary information, as well as finding the suitable person at the correct time. Although escalation is an efficient approach to move things forward, employing the project management tools outlined above can also be incredibly beneficial without going to escalation.
- Two-way communication and feedback: Reporting and feedback should not be simply bottom-up and one-way. As a project manager or leader, do your best to enlist the help of higher management and decision-makers in engaging with stakeholders and team members. When it comes to checkpoints and milestones, it’s critical to keep the project on track by regularly aligning the direction. Positive or negative feedback from higher management can save time and effort by preventing teams from wasting time on activities that aren’t aligned with the project’s goals.
4. Invest in technology and tools to help your team succeed
To ensure that an enterprise project succeeds, make sure that everyone involved has all of the necessary tools. The project’s scope is frequently larger than we expect, and it entails more teams than we predict. The IT and support team, for example, must ensure that all internal systems, services, and devices are operational. As we move toward a more remote workforce and environment, network stability, data and information availability, and working devices are all becoming more important. Here are some technologies and tools to consider when working on any project:
- Mobile technologies for the remote workforce: The rise of mobile devices, as well as the expansion of cloud services that enable data and analytics for practically every part of an organization’s operations, are two trends that have emerged in the aftermath of the epidemic. Developers working on a company-wide project at home, for example, will need devices (desktop and mobile), thus using a service like a mobile device management solution to provide an overview of all devices is something to think about. When an employee’s mobile device fails, IT help can remotely access the device and resolve the problem.
- Video conferencing and meeting: Equipping your teams with video conferencing software and solutions is another important tool in today’s remote workplace. Make it simple for everyone working on the project to communicate at any time. Again, this relates to providing devices to employees so that they can participate in meetings or access internet resources even when they are away from the office. As more and more companies are allowing employees to work from home, video conferencing is becoming one of the most important tools for a project to progress at any stage.
Also, read Best Tools To Support Remote Work
5. Team development and motivating everyone involved in the project
There are numerous strategies, methodologies, technologies, and tools available to help with project execution. Employees, on the other hand, are at the heart of every project, so make sure you have the right people working for the right reasons. It will be a lot easier for everything to fall into place if the participants are motivated, focused, and aligned with the goals and objectives. Before and during the project, each project manager or leader should consider the following suggestions:
- Identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses: A project manager or leader needs to recognize each person’s strengths and weaknesses to get the best and most out of everyone, whether it’s choosing the ideal individuals for the project or switching responsibilities.
- Cultivate positive relationships: A toxic work environment filled with office politics, backstabbing, and gossip is a recipe for project failure. It’s important not to underestimate the importance of creating a diverse and healthy work environment. Workshops, team-building events, lunches, and dinners are just a few examples of ways to improve morale.
- Encourage personal growth: When choosing the correct teams and people for the project, personal growth should be taken into account and encouraged for everyone. A project can take up to three or four years to complete. During this time, many members will have the opportunity to move positions and teams. Encouraging employees to develop a variety of interests and passions can also contribute to a project’s good energy and outcomes.
- Appreciate the efforts of everyone involved: Finally, as project managers and leaders, you must remember that a project cannot be completed unless everyone involved gives their time and effort. Even when things are going well, it’s always important to properly acknowledge and appreciate the efforts on a regular basis. Having the correct amount of encouragement and praise can go a long way toward motivating everyone involved to complete the project on time and to a high standard.
The best practices and ideas listed above can be applied to projects of all sizes. The most difficult thing is having the right mindset and determination to see it through. It’s up to project leaders and senior management to ensure that the culture is established from the start and that everyone has the resources they need to succeed. It’s about putting in the same amount of effort as everyone else and doing your best to influence people along the path for project members. It is the people who, at the end of the day, drive the project and bring a concept into reality.