How my team met project deadline in short time and limited resources?
Meeting project deadlines can be a real challenge especially if there are very limited resources and time constraints associated. Today, I am writing in support of all those hardworking teams out there who overcome all hurdles to met deadlines. I still remember that day when our team was given a exclusive project, which was to develop a new programme for a client from construction industry, to finish in just three weeks. I, as the project manager knew its going to be challenging but was confident that with the help of newly appointed three member team, we will finish that before time.
We started working on but very soon realised that there were very limited resources. Only thing I knew at that early stage that the manager would not give me such a task if they do not have trust in my ability and that of my team. So, with determination of my team and trust gained from my project management training , I embarked on the project. We discussed our strategies to make this a successful project.
Inspire and Motivate your Team
As the team looked bit low in confidence, I called them to discuss about the issues which are bothering them. Alex, a team member, said that he was thinking that maybe the company was trying to get rid of us. I asked him why he thought of that. He said it’s because he was thinking that there was no way we could finish the project on time, and the limited resources would be a big stress to all of us.
He could have a point there. But I did not let his thoughts dampen my spirit and that of the rest of the team. Again, I told them that we have the trust of the company. We have been providing the management with several successful projects and this could be either just a test of our abilities, or maybe the company was going through some financial crisis .
That made sense to me, and I saw that my team had similar feelings. When I saw them agreeing, I knew that I gained back their confidence in my leadership skills.
Before I gave them their assigned tasks for the project, I asked them to make researches. We have two weeks to finish the project, and we need to spend one day looking for ways to plan and commence project.
The following day, my team was a little more positive. They presented some great suggestions and most have potentials for success. One suggestion was to go through the project management training. I was all for that. But with the time constraint, we need to go through a crash training. I asked them if they were willing to go for overtime. They all agreed. I really love my team.
One of my team members, mentioned that she found a good resource for effective management of project budget. That one report has big impact on all of us. We were not really worried about the time constraint, but more on the project budget. So, I encouraged that member to elaborate.
So, she started telling us what she found out. She started by saying that it is a fact that the top priority of the project manager is to ensure the project’s overall success. We all agreed to that. She went on to say that some projects do get wildly over-budget; she’s got a point there. When that happens, the project could not be considered a real success even if it was timely delivered and it met the needs of the end users. Over-budget is not good. It could only mean that the project would not have been finished on time if there was limited budgets. Thus, effective and meticulous budget management is very vital for every project.
She said that one of the first thing that a project manager should do is to regularly forecast the budget. This means that to avoid failure - budget-wise - I need to keep on re-forecasting the budget. I was smiling by that time. This team member has really done her homework. To continue, she said that resource usage should also be regularly monitored. With regular budget forecasting and resource monitoring, we should be able to avoid going overboard.
Her suggestions were good and have taken note of them. There were other suggestions and along with my own research, we were able to come up with a definite project plan. We got the project scope set up that day; we have determined and documented a list for particular project objectives, deliverables, costs, tasks and deadline.
Team members might need support
During the entire time that we were working on the project, I noticed a different kind of perseverance among my team. Though some would complain every now and then, encouragement from me and other team members would alleviate any fear. So, we carried on.
Throughout the project management process, I was elated, frustrated, excited and disappointed. But, overall, I was also proud of my team. We had an open line of communication. I encourage them to make regular reports on their progress. I, on my part, made sure that everyone is aware on the status of the budget and the resources. We are all aware of the time, but I still remind them of the deadline. I hated doing that, because I know that they would feel pressured. But, as the project manager, that’s my job.
Within two weeks, our project was finished and I am proud to say that it was a big success. It was a real team effort. And I can honestly say that our team was able to meet the project deadline on time and with limited resources, because we all worked hard for it. Not just that, we all worked together from the start.
It was indeed a great journey for all of us. To be given that kind of challenge. It had taken most of our time and we certainly had to exert all our efforts. But the result was all worth it.