How to Effectively Manage Your Technology Projects
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man” – Elbert Hubbard
This is entirely true. Technology is power, but if there isn’t anyone who can control this power, it will remain just a concept. It is said that technology is exceeding our humanity and the time we live in. Yet, it is the man that makes all of this happen.
Bearing in mind that everything that has a mutual connection to technology serves the greater good, managing the technological projects must be done in a completely unique fashion in order to secure the masterpiece outcome.
Here is how should the development of the project look from start to finish.
Tech projects need a lot of action and skilled individuals who will direct that action. However, to get there, countless ideas are necessary to start the creative process. Therefore, before the beginning of the tech project, the team should get together in a long brainstorming session where the future directions will become clear.
The Categorization of Goals and Expectations
Once the flow of new ideas is up and running, next comes their categorization into very important, essential, but for later use and purposes that might prove useful in another project. This categorization will help you set the right short-term and long-term goals and expectations of what this project will bring to the table once finished.
The work done for the short-term goals and the long-term goals must be differentiated and conducted in a different way. Namely, the short-term goals need a focused team that prioritizes the tasks and delivers before the deadline. These tasks seek a greater focus and attention to detail. On the other hand, the long-term goals need constant and steady development that is always in effect in the background.
To make it even more transparent, imagine that you are working in a virtual staging agency. The short-term goal would be to design the photos of a client before the deadline you had previously agreed on, while the long-term goals are to establish your virtual staging company as a trustworthy partner of real estate agents and people who want to sell or remodel their home or office facilities.
When it comes to the expectations they should be real ones reasonable and achievable in terms of capacity and quality of the team members. You, as a manager, cannot expect that a project will be done in, say, one month if you don’t have enough skilled professionals who will do the job under a month. Not only expecting such a thing will prove disappointing, but also it will have negative effects on the flow of other projects as well.
Self-Evaluation, Evaluation of the Team and the Results
During the period when the project is being worked on, there must be several stops for self-evaluation, evaluation of team members, and the results up to that point. Is everything going smoothly, do we have a positive outcome up to that point, do we go in the right direction and so on. If there is a problem, it can be solved during the early stages of the project so that it won’t have any negative consequences on the rest of the job.
Respecting the Phases
When I say respecting the phases, I mean to treat the phases of a project with a substantial break in between. The breaks between the phases are like a pit-stop. They might last only a few seconds, but they are the most important part of the race – for recharging. In the same manner, after finishing a crucial point of a project, you should stop a take a break. Reflect and recharge to continue.
Communicate All the Way
Communication is vital in every project, including the technological ones. The project managers must be able to communicate with their team members and channel their creative outburst in the right direction and make it all useful and advantageous to the project.
Moreover, communication should be transparent and in both ways engaging for all parties. The chain of communication should function similarly to the chain of command: the project manager should always be in touch with the decision makers and the latter with their team members who get them enough material for them to make the decisions.
A Single Tree Does Not Make a Forest
This proverb relates entirely to the way managers or tech projects should conduct their business. If they focus and spend too much time, energy, and resources on one task or aspect of the project, the result won’t be satisfactory. Even if finishing those assignments gives fantastic results, the other parts will be neglected, and the whole picture won’t be the one the clients want or need.
It is essential that all the distractions are put aside while a project is in the works. A distraction-free environment will create a smooth workflow, and focusing on the tasks will come quickly. For that purpose, minimalizing the digital distractions is necessary for a project to succeed.
Testing and Evaluation
When the tasks are done, and the results are in, the project is still up and running. You cannot say that the technological project is successfully finished without testing and evaluating it first. It is already mentioned above that after every phase, there should be a time frame in which reflections should be done on the finished parts, so in the end, a reflection of the overall results must be done as well. This will ensure that the final product will meet the goals and expectations of the client.
Handing the Project Over to the Client
Once the project is tested and evaluated, and there is no further work to be done on it, the project manager will hand it over or send it digitally to the client. Then, they wait for feedback from the client. If communication is one of the main points during the whole process, the feedback would undoubtedly be positive.
And always remember: “Many will start fast, few will finish strong.” – Gary Ryan Blair