Working Smarter & Faster

11/1/2008
Back to Work Related

A co-worker has brought in a very difficult project on time and under budget, despite many overwhelming obstacles. Everyone is pleased and impressed, but some are wondering, “How did she do it? Does she have a secret formula? Did she get help from unknown sources? Was it a miracle?” 

The answer lies in four simple techniques. You don't have to just sit and wonder how project management superstars pull off their "miracles." There are four fail-safe techniques that all effective employees apply to make sure their projects are successful: 

Find the Hidden Resources 
Your project is full of hidden resources and opportunities, such as spare time, project management tools, special skills that team members possess or unexpected resources. Good planning can help you discover these hidden resources and make effective use of the advantages they can give you. So, before you actually begin your project, make it a point to ferret out hidden resources, because you can't use a resource that you have failed to identify. 

Don't Stop with the First Solution 
When searching for a great problem-solving idea, search for several. Brainstorming not only works, but it is also an excellent method for idea generation. Always involve your team members. Not only can they be helpful, but they also will appreciate being drawn into the process and given the chance to contribute. 

Make Time to Plan Ahead and Set Goals 
These two early steps are mandatory if you want to avoid failure. Be sure you understand what the goal of the project is and what the project actually entails. Only then should you begin to work on the project. 

Act on Problems Immediately 
A smart project manager is always on the lookout for small problems that surface that have the potential to grow into big problems. By solving problems in their infancy, you will avoid having to deal with them after they have grown into full-blown crises that can threaten your success as well as the success of your project. Watch for triggers that might signal potential disaster.