Online Teams and Online Team Members

With the development of Internet and mobile technology, more people prefer to work from home or telecommute. Number of online projects is fast growing and now almost all businesses in almost all industries make use of them. Especially, such projects are a frequent choice for start-ups with limited resources, but large companies are no exception.

Are online projects any different from traditional ones? If yes, how different is the work of an online team member?

There are widely different points of views about distance projects. Some managers are still of the opinion that managing online teams is much more difficult and freelancers could be used only for certain well defined tasks, but not for more complicated ones that require close monitoring and supervision.

However, some others find a lot of advantages to managing a freelance team working at geographically different locations in different time zones. They provide clear examples to prove long term success of online projects and that even difficult projects that require much communication between team members and close collaboration are quite suitable for online platform. Indeed, working with online team provides an opportunity to select the best manpower from a diverse range of specialties and criteria.

In fact some people are not able to work without boss under their shoulders and even they are good specialists they will not be effective online workers.

The first freelance work is not fit for everyone. Sometimes people want to be freelancers because of some individual circumstances. They may think they don’t need to go to work and it saves a lot of time. But there are some people, more often extroverts, who are not able to stay and work alone all time. They need people around and working online will be hell for them. This kind of people can’t adapt and may feel quite uncomfortable with working online only connected virtually.

But ability to work alone is not enough to be a good freelancer and an effective member of an online team. Online work requires high level of responsibility because it is easier to hide “in the cloud” than in the real work place. Psychologically, the online worker considers, as less serious fault, if he goes offline without explanation. Moreover, problems with connection could be a smart excuse in case of missing work or delays. But if such things happen often it will affect the team negatively in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Good online worker always tells in advance that he will not be online or find way to inform team that he has problem with connection.

Team members should be interested in the project in the first place and open for communication; he should be enthusiastic and take active part in discussions and, problems and solutions.

Freelance work is much more result oriented. If you work in an office you have much more freedom to pretend that you are working. Online workplace does not give such opportunity. Moreover, approach to work with remote workers is tougher. Employer can easily fire an ineffective freelancer than office worker. Personal relationships play a more important role when people have physical contacts. There is a kind of people who build the career based on good terms with the boss. People who choose to work online mostly are not interested in such methods or don’t have ability to manipulate people. They prefer to prove their efficiency with hard work and an achievement of valuable results.

A member of online team should be more self-sufficient. Often the duties of online worker are various and ability to get skills fast is very important. In the physical office, people communicate and ability to learn partly could be replaced with ability to communicate.

Very often freelancer works at several online projects at the same time and good online worker is curious, good learner and the person who has excellent ability to switch between works does well.

It is a fact that online project success greatly depends on the right team. The next question is where to find such people and how to manage an online team.

Usually people who are working or prepared to work online have online history. He could have been hired before through freelance sites have feedback tools; probably he may have their own blog site or active in forums. It is quite risky to hire a person who has never worked online for a responsible position. That is why people who are serious about freelance future often agree to lower position and lower money to prove that they are able to work online.

A project manager of an online team has very small chance to control what people are doing. Most freelance sites like oDesk have advanced software to control freelancers but it is boring and time consuming task to look screenshots one by one. So the only measure of people’s work is the result.

The role of project manager in online projects is much more informal. He needs to support constant communication with his team with a purpose of controlling and teaching people. Project manager is responsible for creating an atmosphere where every freelancer feels that the result of the project depends on how he works.
Nadykto Olga

Is Project Management Relevant to Small Business?

You are ready to start your small business. You made a very important decision that will change your life dramatically in the next few years – either for better or worse.

You don’t need to work for someone anymore and you don’t need to push yourself to follow instruction of your boss that you don’t agree with. You have a lot of ideas and you have all chances to make your dreams real. You are on the way to your own wonderful world where most of the things under your control.

Many people start their own business and succeed. However, the number of people who fails is much bigger and ever growing. There is no simple reason to give when you fail. Still, there are a lot of theories to explain your win.

We often find comfort in believing two things: weak planning and poor project management as the two most important culprits to fix the blame on.

It is commonly believed that project management is relevant only to big companies and small businesses shouldn’t bother. Often the person who creates his own company is a professional in some area of business. He supposes that he doesn’t need additional administrative work because the business is small and he is able to keep all tasks under his control. He needs to move fast, has limited resources and, in his opinion, any sort of project management is an unnecessary fiscal burden that will hinder progress.

Even if there is some truth in these arguments, modern day small business owner is only increasing his chances of failure by neglecting to see the importance and value of project management. Today, the small business owner faces a world full of complexities and intricacies that demand your power of concentration to to the highest level and delegating other tasks to a team committed to achieving goals.

If you are starting your own business, you have a lot of new opportunities and a lot of new threats too. At the same time, competition is so rife that no niche is immune from lethal competition.

Sure, you are full of bright ideas, you feel very energetic and you think that you can do a lot. Don’t overestimate your abilities. You need to concentrate on only one main dream which you want to make real. Several dreams could be too many because of your limited resources. If you choose one opportunity you will naturally give up others and probably a better one.

Finally, the choice is made and you are facing different problems like the problem that you don’t have a boss.. No one controls you, put millstones, gives you tasks and checks deadlines. Very soon you will understand that self-control is not easy task even you are very disciplined person.

So what about managing a team? You will have variety of problems. Someone may misunderstand your task, break deadlines or give up job half way through quite unexpectedly. You are very enthusiastic but you are not able to motivate the team. All these problems now are on your shoulders.

If your finances are limited, which is common for most small businesses, you need to plan your budget carefully. Consider that you don’t want to be in unpleasant situation when you have spent all your money but you don’t have any more to finish the work.

Having your own business includes solving problems that are the result of your mistakes and weaknesses or just something unexpected. If you don’t have proper plan how to manage difficult situations and correct mistakes you have very low chance to survive. In small business, what always matters is what your proactive strategies are.

What opportunity to choose? How to get results? What methods to
use? How to estimate the results? How to improve outcomes? How to manage teams? These are all project management tasks.

Many interpreters think that project management is something very complex and they need put huge efforts to learn it spending night reading thick books. Really project management is very practical and valuable thing.

Project management will help you cut your big dream to small, simple and manageable tasks. Put them in right order. Solve possible problems. Help finish tasks on time and as a result you will be making your dreams come true.

Project management is not magic. It is just an effective tool for your business which allows you to avoid most problems in advance and solve problems that already exist. Using project management methods will help you keep things under control and feel more confident about your business and its destiny. That is your destiny.

The Best Ways to Make Sure Projects Go Smoothly

As professional project managers we’ve worked on a number of different projects all with different specifications and unique cases. We’ve also seen our fair share of challenges, risks, and inadvertent schedule delays. As project managers, we’ve seen it all. Here are some of the best ways to make sure projects go smoothly.

  • Know Your Clients and Customers. Knowing and establishing relationships with clients and customers is half the battle. This can help you immensely in determining schedules, budgets, and deliverables. This may be more difficult for less experienced project managers to grasp at first, but each detail-oriented project manager should be able to get to know the organization’s clients or customers after some time, or at least understand what their goals are. Knowing these goals can make all the difference in how effectively you project manage that particular client’s projects.
  • Recruit a Great Team. The other key are in effective project management has to do with the team. Recruiting and managing a good team can make all the difference in how a project is managed and carried out. Team members should all be working to one common goal: serving the client. Remember that a team is only as strong as its weakest link. In addition, project managers should keep in mind that they aren’t “managers” but rather “leaders”. This is vital to remember when leading teams and projects. The difference between a manager and a leader lies with the project manager. He or she should encourage team member success rather than solely delegating tasks.
  • Identify Risks and Establish Risk Response Plans. One of the most crucial points in project management is identifying project risks. Each project has its own set of challenges and risks that come along with it. A project manager should spend time at the beginning and identify any and all certain and uncertain risks and the probability and impact levels for each. Then, the project manager should design risk response plans for each of the risks. This way if and when each risk comes about the project manager and team can address them according to the plan that was put into place. Some of the best ways to address these as a group is hold planning meetings on a regular basis and keep all team members informed as to the project status and progress of each risk and how each is being addressed.
  • Archiving and Documentation. Another key area of project management—before, during, and even after the project life cycle—is documenting each step and archiving the project properly so that other project managers or team members can resurrect the documentation or information on a particular project should it be needed for future projects. One of the great benefits to doing this is a lot of time and effort can be saved on the part of the project manager if he or she has another similar project to reference to, to see how the completed project was carried out.

Of course these are only some of the ways that professional project managers can make sure projects go smoothly. Each project has its own unique cases and specs attached to it, so you may need to get creative in how to deal with certain challenges and risks.

The Most Common Mistakes in Project Management

Project managers know that in the realm of project management, projects can encounter many risks. Most risks range from internal and external risks, technical risks, and even legal risks, depending on the project and organization, of course. However, project management in itself is considered a risk.

Here are some of the most common mistakes in project management.

1.)  Lack of project management experience. Many projects today are assigned to project managers of various levels. Some of the less experienced project managers may be forced to take on projects that have higher level or complexities that he or she may not be familiar with. As a result, this becomes a major risk. The project manager may not understand how to properly allocate resources or schedule in an effective manner.

Solution: So what can project managers do to mitigate this risk? One of the best ways to address this is to document project steps and even create checklists for less experienced PMs to follow. This will ensure that typical project steps and/or risks will be addressed.

2.)  Miscommunication in project scope or specifications. This is something that most of if not all project managers have experienced at one point or another in their roles. Often times project managers receive instructions that may be vague or incomplete or are perhaps interpreted incorrectly.

Solution: Although this may be an area that is difficult to mitigate, project managers should be prepared or have a process in place in the event that scopes change mid project. This will help the change take place more effectively and successfully without further risks to the project. The object here is not to anticipate every possible scenario, but to anticipate the obvious risks and the risks that are most evident and probable.

3.)  Don’t be a boss, be a team leader. Some project managers can go on a power trip when they are assigned to projects, especially those that are complex or that are worth high revenue. However, if projects are managed and recognized as team efforts, this mitigates the risk and the power struggle.

Solution: It is important for project managers to keep in mind that eve though project managers are at the forefront of the project and there to align all project milestones and deadlines along the way, that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other. Each functional area that grabs hold of the project throughout its life cycle is a crucial team member that is just as important as the next.

Project managers certainly encounter different risk and mistake areas in various projects and their life cycles. These are some of the top risk areas that occur in the project management risk category. However, it is important to take each step in project management seriously in order to recognize and mitigate each area of risk in order to avoid errors or compromise the project integrity, quality, and delivery.

Project Management: What’s Your Methodology?

Each project has its own specifications, complexities, and risks. As a result, each project needs its own methodology, or plan of attack. Methodologies can certainly vary from project to project and even from project manager to project manager. So what is your methodology for your project?

Project management methodologies are the plans of attack that a project manager would go about the project scope or specifications and how he or she would identify and respond to project risks. Methodologies can involve creating flowcharts or outlines addressing the project steps, risks, and the planned responses to those risks. Methodologies should also include project entrance and exit plans.

While methodologies certainly aren’t identical from project to project, there should be some consistency, however, throughout the organization. This basically means that the tools used in project management roles should be consistent across an organization and the documentation or archiving methods should also be consistent. This will only help when project managers work on similar, future projects, as they will have documented archived projects to refer to for reference, if necessary.

Another benefit to working with consistent organizational methodologies is that projects can easily be handed off to other project managers should reassignments occur. Not only will this make the newly assigned project manager ease into the project scope and responsibilities easier, it will also reduce the risk level involved in the hand off, as one of the key areas of risk in project management is the hand off phases.

For example, let’s say a particular project involves the publishing of a textbook. A project manager may have his or her own style in developing the product or putting together the manuscript, but the end result—in how the book is printed—is the same. However, an organizational policy may be that projects with certain grades or specifications are outsourced by specific, assigned vendors. This is the area in which organizational consistency is key. Another project manager could step in at any point and know that, that particular project is or needs to be handled by one particular vendor due to the certain scope.

Regardless of which methodology a project manager chooses to execute his or her project, it should be documented, outlined, and even include steps and practices in order to ensure that all risks were addressed and are being responded to and that they remain compliant and consistent with the organization.

All in all, all projects should have certain methodologies specified at the beginning. Not only will this help the project manager analyze and get a grasp of what is needed in the project but it will also help him or her identify the risks involved. By spending time doing this up front it will ensure proper documentation of the project for archival purposes, consistency with organizational procedures or policies, and even ensuring the project’s overall success.
Photo credit: © Jyothi |

The Cult of Done Manifesto

Everything in life is nonsense. Sometimes, I find great comfort in thinking that life is an utterly stupid experience. In that spirit, ‘cult of done’ could be interpreted as pure nonsense. Anyway, coming out of that nonsense approach, pretending that everything has some meaning, will give meaning to it. No two words, I take the latter attitude. I pretend that there is meaning. So, I can work out something deeper. If you are a good project manager, you should be able to pretend that everything is meaningful. But stop. Even if you think that everything is stupid and nonsense, still you are a good project manager. May be a better one.

I remember a piece of writing I did with a friend of mine about life. We had a set rule that we write every other sentence without taking time to think. We wanted to know how our spontaneous faculties work. Most of the things in that writing, I have never found the courage to let anyone else read. Life has taught me one lesson in abundance. Trust in your intuition may bring out effective ideas you never imagine to find by serious thinking.

The cult of done, in a meaningful sense is all about one. It is action or doing and what prevent us from acting. Though I never attempt to do so, for sure, you will agree with me if you keep reading to the end.

How true it is to say that there are three states of being as not knowing, action and completion. Everything we do is new. Do you agree with me? Even the selfsame repetitive task we do are different from each other. Why? circumstances change. Factors affecting the outcome change. Your experience and attitudes change. So what?

Everything we do starts from the state of being not knowing. You do and know. Doing is knowing. You learn by experience. That leads to completion. I use this dogma whenever a member of my project team is unnecessarily apprehensive about something that he has to do with little knowledge. If you enough emphasize that every task is new and we start with no knowledge, sure it gives you tremendous power to go ahead.

Not knowing and doing leads to the natural prerequisite of pretense. Professor William James wrote much about the power pretending what you want to be. One logic of the cult of done surfaces here. If everything starts from a state of not knowing, the next state of doing requires pretense. We pretend that we know and we do. I think you catch it.

I can quote thousand examples to explain it. You have sex for the first time. Do you wanna worry that you don’t know? Or you pretend that you know and you do. Practically anything we do in life is amenable to this philosophy. So who is going to argue against the fact pretending to know that and knowing are the same? This is one great truth I have learned as a project manager.

There are two other interrelated contenders that make me think seriously: procrastination and perfectionism. Perfectionism is one the major causes of procrastination. Experts do agree. Those who delay or postpone most are those who need everything perfect. Myself included to be truth. You need to banish procrastination by laughing at perfectionism. Look back and see for yourself. Where do you stand?

Next, you are never able to finish anything. Simply you do one thing in order to do the next and so on. Nothing short of reality. You complete tasks, reach milestones, complete projects … to finish. No. Just in order to do more things.

The cult of done always impresses me as a philosophy that stresses the action or the doing part of our existence and major stumbling blocks that prevent us from acting or doing. If we look back our own lives, we will find numerous occasions we had grand plans to do things, but never done. Focused action can only produce results.

The Cult of Done has something that sets me thinking. Remember though, we can interpret it in anyway you like. I always want to interpret it from a meaningful perspective. It is like ‘Done is the engine of more’.

Project Managers: Leading When You’re Not Always the Leader

A leader does not necessarily need to have the title. Any team member can be a leader and an example for their coworkers. Being a leader involves having an informal approach to your colleagues, but to be there to put in the work as part of the team. A leader finds ways to build upon a project, to come up with ideas, and address concerns. A leader is not afraid to step up and accept the challenge when the task seems difficult or even impossible.

Companies have encouraged more project managers to step up and act as a leader, often times without the specific title. A good team leader practices excellent leadership skills, project management skills, and even displays people skills. You will need to communicate to your team members in a way that is friendly, professional, and provide positive feedback as necessary. It is important not to speak to your team members with a condescending or demeaning attitude.

To be an effective project manager and leader you need to be able to see the big picture and how this project benefits the company as a whole. You need to analyze the task and develop personal goals to ensure the project’s overall success while being mindful of your team members’ responsibilities. A good leader also steps in and helps out when a team member is falling behind or is struggling with a particular project. Leadership is not about praise, merit, or reward, or even the power. Leadership is about getting things done in the best way possible and coaching team members to display the attitude.

An important quality that project managers and leaders need to have is the ability to make decisions and problem solve, often times on a whim. Many projects have tight deadlines and little room in the schedule and budget to spend a lot of time on making decisions. As a result, this quality isn’t encouraged so much as it goes without saying.

Project managers and leaders, even if they aren’t leaders, need to realize their own roles and how it affects the team. You need to look at every situation from different points of view. Look at each task from a political, personal, and organizational point of view. Don’t be afraid to exert your influence. Show you are confident in your role and understand the task inside and out. Be sure to also establish yourself as a go-to for your team members.

Part of being an effective leader is knowing people. Observe your team members’ behavior. This will help you establish communication patterns and learn how to talk to your team members on a constructive level. It is important to always remember the importance of business ethics. Steer clear of problems and map out resolutions to help avoid conflict wherever necessary. Have a detailed plan of action for each task and let your team members modify it with their own approach, allowing time to ultimately reach goals.

Project managers often find themselves in the difficult position where they must act like a leader but aren’t really told to do so. This sort of situation happens naturally since project managers are proactive thinkers and doers and will do what it takes in order to make decisions, problem solve, and get projects done.

The Top 10 Traits of a Successful Project Manager

Being a project manager is not easy. Not only do you have to be the most organized and put together individual on your team, you also have to worry about your job being on the line if a project is not finished successfully. While managing projects for Victory Productions, a small book and learning materials publisher, it was imperative that the projects I was managing were finished on time and within budget – after all, the education organizations we worked with were not known for being forgiving to those that squandered their very limited budgets.

Along with all that stress we face in managing projects, we also benefit from getting to collaborate with role-model team members (though they may be few and far between) and other project managers. In all these collaborations, I’ve put together my own list of traits I need to gain in order to better manage my projects:

  1. Organized One of the top key traits of being a successful project manager is organization. You must be organized as a project manager. You must have the ability to keep track of tasks, budgets, deadlines, and follow ups as necessary. In addition, being organized will show team members that you are on top of things which will alleviate any stress or concerns about assigning or getting tasks done and done on time.
  2. Detail-Oriented It is important for project managers to be able to sift through details. Some details may include minor specifications, deadlines, or other specific customer notes that should be considered during a project. As a project manager you will be given a lot of information and it is important for you to sort through and recognize errors or red flags or analyze schedules or deadlines accordingly.
  3. Resourceful Project managers are resourceful. They utilize their skills and training and experience to sort out details and make decisions accordingly. They make do with the information and resources that are available to them, but they also know when to step in and ask questions.
  4. Problem Solving Expert A big part of a project manager’s job is problem solving. In many project management roles you deal with conflict. Conflict is unavoidable, but you do have the power to find and reach a reasonable and rational resolution that is in everyone’s best interest, including the customer. You should not try to make this an exercise in power control but a chance to settle areas of conflict and allow compromise and a speedy resolution.
  5. The Ability to Strategize The ability to strategize is also key to successful project management. Project managers must look at details, instructions, specifications, issues, etc. objectively and strategize a plan or solution from there. It is important to look at an issue from all angles to determine which plan or solution would work best for production, for the company, and for the customer.
  6. Practice Effective Communication Practicing effective communication is an area in project management that cannot be overlooked. Communication can relate to the way you speak or write to someone or how a project or instructions are directed. When speaking or writing to someone, it is important to think about your words or wording beforehand. Remember that communication can be very easily misinterpreted, especially today when most correspondence is recorded in email. It is also important to think about your words and instructions before assigning or handing off a project to a team member or another department. Think of how someone will interpret your instructions or if they are clear.
  7. Be Proactive Project managers are also proactive. Being proactive can sometimes go hand in hand with being resourceful. As a project manager you need to be proactive and understand the projects, tasks or assignments that land on your lap. Project managers that are proactive will recognize problematic areas in a project before it begins, address any issues or concerns before they become real fires, and ask questions and follow up when necessary.
  8. Be Timely Remember that information should be given at the earliest possible time upon embarking on a new project or challenge. You should plan out your project and the tasks that each individual employee will need to accomplish and schedule accordingly. Remember that since each project has its own schedule and that the sooner you assign or hand off to someone, the sooner that person can do his or her job.
  9. Training Training is another element of project management which shouldn’t be taken lightly. You will need to constantly provide information and training to your team members. By giving your team members the tools they need to succeed, you will also succeed as a project manager as your team’s efforts will result in high quality projects and happy customers. In addition, providing effective training will also reduce the amount of errors, miscommunications, and the need to continuously retrain.
  10. Be Enthusiastic Show your enthusiasm. You should be excited about the tasks or projects you are about to take on. You should know that attitude is an element of success. Remember also that enthusiasm and positive attitudes are contagious. The more positivity you display the more your team members and coworkers will pick up on it. You should look forward to all the training and education you can receive. Make this a career rather than just a job. Love the challenge and rise up to it.

To summarize, in order to be a great project manager you should be able to plan out your tasks, organize, and plan accordingly. You should be able to manage your teams effectively and manage the distribution of important tasks. You should be able to sort through the details and information in projects and prioritize essential information and relay that information to your coworkers.

The Importance of Managing Resources for Ensuring Project Success

Suppose you are a project manager, working sincerely and whole-heartedly for making the project successful. After the completion of some necessary activities, e.g., project planning and scheduling, your main focus will surely be to find out the resources that you will require for carrying out the project activities properly.

Resources can be of different types, such as people, materials, equipment and other supplies. For instance, in a software development project, you will need programmers, software engineers, system analysts, office staffs, as well as a convenient office place, computers with high configuration, internet facilities etc. The project manager must ensure about the availability of these resources.

In some cases, the project manager identifies that the project is heading in a wrong direction. Deadline is approaching very fast, available budget is getting exhausted; however more than 50% of project activities are still unfinished. In this moment of severity, the project manager has two options; he has to make arrangements for the appropriate training for the team members to enhance their capabilities, or he needs to hire skilled personnel. Promptness in decision making is largely required in this case for the project manager.

Again, choosing right people for the right job is not a very simple task. The project manager must have the capability to determine the appropriate skill level necessary for a particular activity in the project, and also to match people to those skills. To hire the perfect staff, the project manager should make sure to define the roles properly, arrange interview and test the candidates. He should also be careful about the budget, because hiring skilled people may not always be achieved in a cheaper way.

The project manager must guarantee that the team members are respected properly. Without getting proper attention, admiration and respect, the team members in a project will not try to give their 100%. Furthermore, the project manager will have to utilize his motivation skills properly. He must encourage his team members to render their best effort, and remunerate them whenever they do something special. He must also try to empower the team members and ensure their participation in all sorts of decision-making process. This will ultimately increase the overall productivity and the project will lead towards success.

Ensuring better workplace environment is another important thing that must be carefully taken care of by the project manager. Experiments have suggested that people’s performance and their job satisfaction are seriously affected by the room size, furniture, equipment, temperature and humidity, brightness and quality of light, noise and most often the degree of privacy available. If the project manager fails to ensure good working condition, it may become really costly for the project. Staff turnover will increase, and more money should be spent on recruiting and training of new staffs. There will be the possibility that the project will not be finished in time.

The project manager must also ensure the optimal utilization of the available resources. Sometimes it is seen that some members of the project team spend their official time sitting idly, while other members work incessantly and find very little time to relax. The project manager has to set the duties and responsibilities of every member of the team and continuously monitor them. He must also ensure that all the members of the project team are 100% committed to achieve the project goals and objectives.

The project manager should also be careful about utilizing non-human resources. He must make sure about the regular supply of materials and equipment required for the project. He must also confirm about the better quality of these resources, which is extremely necessary in a project.

The project manager has to communicate well with the project sponsor to make sure about the availability of funds. The sponsor must be knowledgeable about all the potential obstacles, risks and other necessary issues on an on-going basis. This will make sure about the availability of the resources in a timely manner.

Lastly it can be mentioned that managing all sorts of resources in a proper manner is absolutely necessary to ensure the overall success of the project. The project manager must give appropriate attention in this regard.

Leadership in Project Management – 14 Key Principles

William Deming first introduced the fourteen key principles in his book Out of the Crisis which was published in 1986. These principles still apply to business and project management today. From long standing companies to small businesses just starting out, these principles are key components in successful business and project management objectives and endeavors.

  1. The focus is to remain constant with the purpose or goal of your business. Project managers as well as business managers should continuously seek methods to improve your product and your overall service. This is absolutely important for project managers to consider. By continuously striving to improve your product and customer service, you will stay one step ahead of your competition. As it should go without saying staying in business is very important particularly in today’s economy. Staying in business will provide jobs for others.
  2. Life is always changing. Things grow, develop, and die to make way for new methods and new life. The same goes for business. Project managers should stay abreast of the new challenges and changes in the business environment. Some new challenges that business face every day is technology. It is difficult to stay on top of the new systems, technological gadgets, and updates that are constantly at our disposal. The challenge of staying current must be accepted. As a project manager you must be flexible and open to new challenges and changes and must act as leaders.
  3. Business is constantly susceptible to inspection. This ensures your business is up to code and compliant with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. However, you shouldn’t rely on these inspections to improve your business. You need to study and be aware of the new or changing trends and practices. Do not wait for an inspection, or until it’s “too late”, to implement a new change or make improvements.
  4. While cost is important for businesses, and is even more of a key component in today’s economy, the bottom line can’t always be the price tag. A key to business is not the higher price. Instead it is to minimize total cost in order to stay in competition with other businesses. One supplier for any one item can build a long lasting business relationship of trust and loyalty.
  5. Project managers and business managers should always have costs and budgets in the back of their minds. While it seems as if this point may conflict with the previous principle, it is important to remember to constantly attempt to improve production and service. However, it is also important to decrease overall costs. Remember the better the production and service the less you will pay in total cost.
  6. To make productive and informed workers it is necessary to have on the job training for your employees. Training should be held regularly as business grows and as practices change. This will definitely help employees stay well informed and be successful in their roles. As a project manager or business manager you should stay on top of your employees’ overall performances and address training in areas where needed. Not only will this show your employees that you care about their future at the company but that you are a leader they can count on.
  7. Leadership is probably one of the most important areas of project management and business management. A project manager must possess outstanding leadership skills. A good leader should be there to supervise the employees and oversee operations in order to maintain productivity. Today leadership doesn’t stop at just employees but rather it extends to technology as well. Project managers should help improve users’ knowledge and skills as well as oversee the functionality of technology as a whole.
  8. Recognize that fear is not an option. Effective leaders should work with employees and team members to remove the fear of failure and the inability or fear of completing tasks or taking on new challenges. If team members feel confident and encouraged they will ultimately be more effective and productive as well as successful in their roles.
  9. Tear down walls, figuratively and literally. There should be no barriers between departments. All areas of the business to need to be able to work and communicate with one another effectively to reach one goal: get the job done. As a project manager or business manager, it is an essential part of your job to make sure tasks and assignments get done. Teamwork is the most effective tool in a business setting. In addition, you can also tear down the walls in a literal sense. More and more companies are even instituting an open floor plan which reduces segregation among supervisors, coworkers, and teams. Not only does this open up the doors of communication studies have also shown that employees feel more comfortable in an open floor plan.
  10. Teamwork cannot be competitive. Do away with targets and inter-business competitions. This only drives team members and coworkers away from one another and ultimately decreases morale. Reward equally and allow praise among all employees.
  11. Leadership is the ultimate key to production. The old fashioned system of setting up goals and standards is obsolete and outdated. Quotas have statistically failed in business in the past. Successful project managers can institute measures and practices of leadership and display those skills to ensure productivity rather than succumbing to quotas and standards.
  12. Another crucial component that a project manager must focus on is quality. There are many different ways you can go about establishing quality in the work place. Remember that a team member will always take pride in his or her accomplishments. Do not hinder these feelings among your team members. Quality is absolutely the key to business, but creativity and craftsmanship in your team members will ensure more productivity and a happier work place.
  13. Human beings by biological nature have the desire to learn. As people we want to learn, grow, and develop. This goes for our careers as well. Education and self improvement should be constantly emphasized in the work place. Project managers should show team members how they can grow personally as well as professionally. By investing and encouraging team members to learn and grow, the company ultimately grows as a business.
  14. All effective members of a business are responsible for the transformation and growth of the business. The company is only as strong as its weakest link. By instituting attitudes of leadership, encouragement, and new philosophies, each team member will do his or her own share of work to help transform the company.

William Deming’s fourteen principles of business management are still very effective in the business world today. So what do most of these principles have in common? Leadership. By extending leadership qualities to team members and by applying these principles to all areas of the business, reaching company goals and objectives, regardless of how large or small, will become more visible. These principles begin at the management level and will trickle down.