To experience success in an ever-changing business environment, it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to focus on project management and work planning.
To be a truly great project manager, you usually have to spend a significant amount of time learning the craft, not to mention trying and failing quite a few times so that you learn how to plan out a project properly.
But we had an idea: instead of costing your organization time and money through you learning from your own mistakes, why not learn best practices from the trail and error that others have already experienced?
This idea inspired us to create project management templates in Logicalplan so you can fail less and celebrate success more.
“You might be tempted to hurry the planning process and jump right into the project, but trust us, though, it’s better to spend a few extra days planning out months of work.”
These templates will walk you through the whole project management process, but since it’s good to go over the basics, we’ll cover some of that now.
To begin, we want to emphasize how important the initialization and planning process is for the success of your project. If you take your time and carefully go through the planning process, you’ll spend less time managing your project and be successful much more often.
It can sometimes be challenging to take your time in the beginning since clients are often antsy for you and your team to get going right away. You might be tempted to hurry the planning process and jump right into the project, but trust us, though, it’s better to spend a few extra days planning out months of work than race forward and waste all that time on a rushed project that will ultimately fail because you didn’t take the time to understand your client’s true needs.
Clients may approach you and tell you what they need, but often the solution that they’re presenting to you doesn’t actually solve the core problem that they’re facing.
To get to the core of your client’s issue, start with the “5 Whys” technique.
Let me demonstrate how this works:
One of my clients once approached me and gave me the task of building them a new website along with their desired specifications.
Instead of rushing forward to start the new website, as I’ve done in the past, I made a point to ask the client, “Why do you want a new website? What are you hoping this will do for your business?”
The client said something along the lines of, “because my sales are low,” so I decided to keep asking “Why” so that we could delve a little deeper into the problem.
I asked the client why he thought their sales were low, to which he responded by telling me that sales were low because his sales reps weren’t receiving many order requests.
Again, to get to the root of the issue, I asked “Why,” and found out that the client’s sales reps weren’t being contacted often because no one knew about his business’ product.
“AHA!” I exclaimed, “You don’t need a website; you need help with marketing!”
By taking my time and continuing to ask “Why,” I was not only able to get to the heart of the issue and save my client time and money, but I was able to prove to my client that I’m worth every penny of what he’s paying me. In his eyes, anything I undertake is going to have a much higher chance of actually helping his business.
If I’d gone full steam ahead into making the new website, but the site had done nothing, not only would the client be upset that he had wasted all that time and money, but he may not come back to my agency with future projects.
That’s goal of the “5 Whys” technique – find the real problems, goals, and benefits before you start working on the solution. You can make the best solution in the world to the problem that the client approached you with, but if your solution doesn’t address the client’s true needs and pain points, then you haven’t really solved their problem.
When your team and your client are on the same page when it comes to the problems, goals, and benefits of the project, it’s much easier to address the real problems to create the best solutions.
If you enjoyed part one of our Project Success Guide, be sure to check out Part Two of our guide (to be published next week!)