Cowshed Projects - Better projects and profit from flexible project management
A client’s world is an easy one right? You want something permanent creating, you know what you want that will bring in additional revenue, you’ve got the funding, you know you want it open for a certain date. Right go …
It should be an easy process, get the right people in, you pay the bills, the work gets done. You just have to wait till it is ready for you and there it is as you envisaged. That’s how it appears on Instagram or would in the movies …well if they ever made films about development projects it would. Niche market the development film genre though!
Then the questions start, you start getting new ideas, costs are too high, time ticks on. What you thought was being done hasn’t been done or quite how you thought and its somehow your fault, the more you get involved the more it’s your fault and you’re paying!
As a client the buck stops with you, to make decisions and have answers. The trouble is there are no wrong answers, but lots of right answers and everyone has them. In order to have the best project you need to have the most effective answers, if you can before you start. This isn’t entirely possible but I’m sure you do have lots of answers, but does everyone working on the project know what they are? Do they understand why? If they did maybe you would hear a little less of the things you don’t want to hear.
The important part of managing a project from the client or developer’s perspective is that you are as clear as possible about what you need. Where the value for you is and what your priorities are. You want everything of course, but there needs to be a hierarchy to let decisions be made. That way you’ll get what you want and need in the most effective way.
A client led project approach needs to be a hybrid of agile and waterfall management. You have to get the best ideas that work and get it done. But first you need to be able to explore to get the best ideas. The best way to do that is to have the elements of the project split down into manageable chunks. Specifically, the elements are most valuable to you. Think of the elements of your project as small loops, develop the element, review and improve then repeat until they are right to deliver the value to you. Then you can set them off on a waterfall approach to be built and become reality as quickly as possible.
The key to managing your projects effectively is to prioritise and focus on where the value is to you.
To do this follow the following process to get the important answers, do it consciously, don’t assume anyone knows the answers or will ask. It sets the right path for the project to travel down. This is the best way to stop the questions which slow the project down and then the blame and let the people deliver the project effectively.
Why are you doing the project, what do you want to get from it, why is the project being done?
What are the most important elements? Where is the value in getting what completed first? What do you need to use it?
What don’t you know, what are you not sure on yet, what’s not been decided?
Then move onto letting the people execute the project, but monitor it. Make sure its going down the path you set it on and try and get the project flat lined as quickly as possible. It will only cost you if you don’t, its your project, manage it or better still lead it.
Managing your project is all about setting the right path for everyone. In the clearest way possible.
There are substantial benefits in terms of cost and reputation if you can improve how you run your projects. Don’t miss out!
I'd love to hear your views, experiences and comments and if you're interested in finding out more, drop me a line.
Thanks for reading
Hi I'm Simon. I've worked in projects for a while now, either management or design. I love projects but they're frustrating. Hope some of this help you.