August 19, 2014
5 Project Management Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Let's face it: Working in the reliability industry, especially if you are a facility or maintenance manager, is tough work. In addition to the physical demands of the job, you are also faced with time management issues, handling and overseeing employees, property, and equipment, and, at the end of the day, justifying your department"s importance to the higher-ups. Over time, maintenance managers are very susceptible to burnout. To help combat this and to help you become as stress-free as possible, this article is going to focus on some handy-dandy project management tips guaranteed to make your life easier!
Project management is all about planning: Without the right road map in place, your trip is doomed before it even begins. After all, how can you arrive at your final destination if you do not know how to get there? Because of that, my first tip is this: Always have a plan in place. This includes maintenance and preventative maintenance plans, project plans, contingency plans, and emergency plans.
Of course, creating a plan is not enough: You also need to make sure you review your plan and make sure that it works optimally as you carry it out. Ask yourself if there are any changes you can make that might improve the plan. Are there any weak spots? Any strong points you can implement in other areas? Always keep an open mind and seek to improve. If your plan seems perfect, review it again: There is always room to grow!
The third project management tip I want to share with you is vital to any project"s success: understanding the project and its requirements. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many project managers tackle projects without fully understanding what they entail, much less what sort of personnel or resources they will require. After all, as PMs, we tend to instinctively reply to requests with the answer, "We'll take care of it, no matter what."
Another character trait of most project managers is the desire to tackle projects head-on, taking a hands-on approach and diving right into the work themselves. While pitching in on projects is great and certainly boosts employee morale by suggesting that you are part of the team, it also takes you away from your primary function: managing the project. After all, if you are busy with a menial task, you can't be monitoring other aspects and tasks and ensuring that they are being completed to satisfaction. Instead of trying to finish the whole project yourself, identify the parts that you can contribute to the most (and that your skills are best suited for) and work on those. Delegate other tasks to your staff: it's what they are there for, after all! This way, you can help the project get completed and still keep your eyes on the prize.
My fifth and final tip is this: Employ the use of a project management system. There is plenty of great PM software that comes with handy tools and features that will make your job a thousand times easier. These include reporting functionality, the ability to issue and track work orders, documentation, and invoicing: the list goes on and on.