Project Management for beginners: 5 bite-size tips and tricks

Do you consider yourself a project manager? If you have, well, a LIFE ... you should.

Every time you plan a vacation, or a party, or organize your home, or figure out how to tackle the weekend's activities, or even manage to get through your busy week, you need to draw upon many of the same skills a seasoned PM professional needs.

Quick tips for personal project management

Those seasoned professionals can go ahead and skip this, but for all the rest of us, here are 5 bite-size tips and tricks to make to make your personal project management a bit easier!

1. Lay the groundwork

Determine the extent ("scope") of the project - what are the milestone dates? The budget? The goals and expectations? Once done, get agreement and alignment from people involved. If those key players ("stakeholders") don't get on board, your chance of success is reduced quite a bit. Once you have created that scope, flesh out the details - you know, the who/what/where/how aspects.

2.Talk About it

You have to keep the lines of communication open - discussion and collaboration is key. Effective communication leads to better performance - always. Does everyone understand your meaning? Are your expectations clear? Let those involved know how the project is tracking and where you are hitting roadblocks. There may be an idea presented around the kitchen table that will be the solution to a sticky issue.

3.Nag, but nicely

This is a little tricky for sure. You want to follow-up with you family ("team") and check-in regularly with them ... but you also don't want to breathe down their necks, either. So when touching base, or when calling a family meeting, you want to make sure you craft your message so it keeps the energy up and the motivation positive. Follow-up on a fairly consistent schedule so they know what & when to expect it, but recurring nagging isn't going to get you anywhere.

4.Give jobs to others

You know your family best, and you know the skill sets of each of the members. The most successful project teams have the right people doing the right jobs at the right phases in the project. Think about this up front - if your teenager is efficient working on internet, yet he grumbles and breaks something every time he washes dishes - have him responsible for searching out a new holiday recipe, not in charge of the placing the heirloom china.

5.Inspire your crew

A home project will move along nicely when everyone involved is motivated and engaged. Your job, as the project manager, isn't to demand perfection (that will never happen), but to keep those who are involved energized - which will help not only keep them effective, but can even strengthen relationships beyond the delegated tasks!

You can't get away from it - not easily, anyways - so you might as well make the most of it. You are busy - I know you are! Your time is valuable. When you are trying to get things DONE for your family, finding ways to make it more efficient and more effective can also make the time working together on these projects more fun!

Feeling a little nervous about tackling your project management tasks?  No worries!  Connect with me and let's make it fun!