Return to the blog overview

Be the ultimate project manager! 5 tips for succesful projects

Be the ultimate project manager! 5 tips for succesful projects

A good project management tool makes every project manager's job easier. This blog explains how and why.

A succesful project depends on mutual agreements, smart follow-up and clear communication, both internally and with the customer. If one of those elements is missing, your project will most definitely suffer. The solution? Combining effective project management software with CRM.

The essence of great project management

Project management is not at all easy. It's a combination of processes - proven and repeatable - and people - unique and unpredictable. In other words: the progress of a project is never 100% under your control.

"The essence of great project management: expecting the unexpected."

Still, every project manager wants the same thing: to deliver the best possible project every time, with predictable results despite any surprises that could pop up along the way. That might be the essence of great project management: expecting the unexpected.

5 tips for a succesful project

Understanding the customer, defining processes, assessing people, setting deadlines… A good project manager has to be comfortable in a lot of areas. Fortunately, these tips, together with the right tools, can make all the difference:

1. Set an accurate timing and budget per phase

Timing a project right lets you set realistic deadlines for the final delivery and all the intermediate steps. Which is essential, since missing deadlines means not fulfilling a client's expectations. And that doesn't do the reputation of a company - or a project manager - any favours.

Of course, timing is also essential for the viability of your project. Setting a price for a project often depends on the timing you set out to achieve. A project that drags on too long can quickly lose its profitability, if only for the work hours put in.

Use project management software to:

  • Divide every project into smaller milestones and tasks
  • Define a budget for each and every one of these/those/them
  • Get an uncluttered overview of/closely follow each phase's development

2. Make sure all roles & responsibilities are clearly defined and communicated

If you're internally involved with the project, you need to fully understand what your specific role is in reaching the project's well-defined goal. The project also needs someone to take ownership, to follow up on the project from A to Z and be personally responsible for its success or failure.

Once the project has kicked off, transparent communication and frequent points of contact are necessary to make sure all goes well - and to timely intervene when it doesn't.

Use project management software to:

  • Assign every task to a colleague (or a team), with one decision maker to oversee things
  • Communicate centrally and share necessary information with everyone working on the project
  • Check up on the workload of your team(s) so your people don't get under- or overused

3. Involve your customer from the start

Probeer inzicht te krijgen in elk project om frustratie te vermijden

Transparent communication with the customer is equally important. If there is no clarity from the start about what exactly your customer wants and how you and your team will achieve it, you could be in for a long road of frustrating readjustments. And don't forget: the more you fail to properly communicate during the course of a project, the more difficult it will be to fix things afterwards. Which unavoidably results in an exhausting, expensive project. Or even worse: shoddy work.

Use project management software to:

  • Keep all of the communications with the customer in one place, linked to your CRM
  • Let customers check up on the status of the project
  • Give the customer access to the planning of meetings and the contact details of project participants

4. Follow up on the project closely (and see the ROI of every step)

Once the project kicks off, you need to get a good understanding of how things are shaping up in order to readjust quickly if need be. So you need to follow up closely on budgets and deadlines, but also on your people's performance. That doesn't necessarily need to involve tons of micromanagement: by combining clear agreements with insightful tools and frequent customer feedback, you get all the info you need without harassing your co-workers.

Use project management software to:

  • Define separate hourly rates per employee and track time
  • Understand the costs and benefits of every phase, task or participant
  • Generate reports per project, milestone or period

5. Base your new projects on saved templates from previous ones

Every project is unique, but that doesn't mean the underlying methods and processes will be totally different. By saving what was successful in the past, you can easily use those proven methods as the basis for future projects - saving time and money in the process.

Use project management software to:

  • Save previous succesful projects (and processes!) as templates
  • Get a head start on future projects
  • Shorten the learning curve for future project participants

Teamleader: project management and CRM in one solution

Teamleader is the all-in-one solution that combines CRM with project management for amazing projects that you can build upon, time after time.

Handy reports, Gantt charts or the Projectcloud platform, Teamleader has everything you need to keep a clear view and make every project into a success.

Moreover, the CRM shows you the details of both internal and external project collaborators in a blink, lists every deal, invoice, email or phone call that is linked to a project, and lets you keep external costs in check with ease.

Eager to try it yourself? Give Teamleader a go today!


About the author

Robin Van Cleemput

Robin Van Cleemput

Writing something about a copywriter, always tricky… If it’s bad, he’ll hate you for it. If it’s good, he’ll hate you for it because he didn’t write it himself. Although Robin isn’t quite the hateful type, on the contrary. His sharp pen makes sure you are engulfed with – hopefully positive - words our customers have to say about us. He can turn a shopping list into a genuine page turner!