Project management is essential to any organization, so much so that they have position created just for that sole purpose. Without them getting a project off the ground can be rocky. They often control and manage factors like the following:
- When the project will effectively be delivered
- The full list of risks and issues, and how they are being mitigated
- How muchthe project is going to cost in the end
- What the criteriato measure success are
- Who is in charge and accountable for each component
But what if your company or department is a bit smaller and doesn’t allow for a project manager on your team? How can you be successful?
Coming from a team who does not have a project manager on board I can tell you that it is not the ideal scenario – they are in high demand for a reason. But here are some things you can do as a team to help a project run smoothly without the guidance of a project manager.
Kick off meeting
Assemble your team and have your first initial meeting to go over the project scope. Likely the person who set the meeting is now in a position to be the leader of the project and thus acting as a project manager for the duration of the project.
During this meeting you should also assign any follow up meetings. Will you be checking in once a week or once a month? Put it on everyone’s calendars right away to avoid conflicts with other assignments.
Keeping track of what everyone’s roll and responsibilities are for the project can be a hard task. A project manager would likely be able to create a RACI chat and track the progression of the project and who was falling behind on their responsibilities based on it. However, when your job is more than just project management this can be hard to do.
That where software like Basecamp can come into play. You can create to do lists for each of the team members based on their assignment and track as they check off the items on their list.
Create your own personal to do list
Even though you might only have one assignment for the project, it doesn’t mean it will only take one step to complete. If you need to create content for a lung cancer landing page you still need to create an outline, interview a physician, write the copy, review the copy, find an image to go with the content (you get the point). It can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do. There is software out there to help with just that. Things like todolist can help individual team members keep track of their tasks and get them done in a timely and efficient manor.
Using your Outlook or Google calendar can be a good way to track milestones and deadlines. During the initial kick off meeting you can create these deadlines for all of your team members so you can keep track of them too. Since most of us look at our work calendars daily it is easy to see what parts of the project should be wrapping up.
Keep the lines of communication open
Using a product like Slack can help communication flowing during a project. Rather than needing to write an email a team member can have an open chat with one person or multiple people within team. This allows quick feedback and answered questions to keep the project moving along.
So while it is not ideal to complete a project without a project manager – for some of us it is our everyday reality but there are some tips and trick to help it get done, keep everyone on track and the stress level down.