Project development is a top management skill. Developing a project requires selecting among three primary methods for execution. Choosing the right one increases the chances for success. Almost every manager of people will need the skills and techniques that go with planning, executing and managing a project. The manager’s ability to set the plan quickly, make good decisions regarding how best to organize the work flow.
For those managers and executives who lead a business unit in almost any area, there is much we can learn from the “technology” world. Software developers have to approach project management in a very organized and effective way. Some of the methods they use can be helpful to all managers. One proven approach is to use a 3 Step Process to identify which project execution method will fit the manager’s style and the skills and personalities of the business unit.
1. The “Methodical Approach.” Determine if the execution needs to be a “methodical” step-by step process. This approach may be best when the project resembles those the team has done before and have a system in place to carry it out. The methodical method is more structured and not as at risk for problems but does not allow much for changes and flexibility
2. The “Flexible Approach.” This method assumes a somewhat ongoing approach where the elements often repeat themselves. This works where the end-result or outcome can be unclear because there will likely be changes. This allows for flexibility and lack of complexity but the final result is not clear at the outset. A more creative type of execution.
3. The “Team Control Approach.” Here the manager assigns the development, planning and execution to the assigned team. The project may not be as familiar or rote as the previous approaches. The time-line for completion is usually quicker, so allowing the team to use their experience and get after the execution works well. The teamwork allows for moving at a faster pace but assumes experience in the team make-up to be successful.
Approaching the project set-up with these management skills choices allows for the selection of the appropriate method. This decision process alone increases the likelihood of a successful project. This is because the needs or the project, the abilities of the team and the ultimate goal are all in alignment. A manager’s ability to assess the project, people and goals and reach a quick and accurate decision on the method of execution should be a core competence.