The Top 9 Rules of Project Management Every Project Manager Must Know

The Top 9 Rules of Project Management Every Project Manager Must Know | Project Management | Emeritus

Effective project management plays a vital role in ensuring businesses achieve timely, budget-friendly, and high-quality project completion, fostering efficient communication, coordination, and collaboration among team members for increased productivity. Skilled project managers are sought after by businesses for successful project outcomes, as evidenced by the 426,229 project managers currently employed in the U.S., highlighting the importance of understanding the rules of project management. Mastering these rules ensures projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards, making it integral to becoming a successful project manager. Let’s now delve into an in-depth exploration of these essential rules.

Rules of Project Management

9 Rules of Project Management

Rules of Project ManagementCertain rules help to ensure successful project outcomes by guiding project managers and team members toward achieving project goals. The nine most important ones include:  

1. Define the Scope and Objectives of the Project Early on

Project managers must define the scope, aims, and objectives of the project early on in the process. This is critical to its success. Doing so ensures that all team members understand what needs to be achieved and what their individual roles are. For example, a company wants to launch a new product in the market. The project manager must clearly define the product’s scope, features, target market, and objectives to ensure that the project stays on track.

Moreover, defining the objective also helps in identifying any potential risks and issues that may arise during the lifecycle of a project, allowing for timely mitigation.

2. Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagement can be detrimental to success. It can hinder team members’ creativity and initiative, leading to demotivation and decreased productivity. 

For example, a project manager overseeing a software development project should allow the developers to work independently. Instead of looking at every move they make is not helpful and can be distracting. The manager instead should provide guidance and support as needed.

3. Keep Improving Your Project Management Skills

Project management is an evolving practice that requires continuous improvement. Project managers should therefore seek feedback from team members and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and implement best practices to enhance their skills.

Furthermore, project managers can also participate in professional development programs, attend conferences, and read industry literature to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. They can also attend training sessions or workshops to learn new techniques and tools to improve their skills.

4. Concentrate on Project Goals

Focus on the overarching goal of the project. Managers should ensure that all team members understand the project goals. It is also important to revisit this in the course of a project to ensure everyone is working according to the schedule and is working toward the end goal.

5. Communicate All Project Deliverables and Activities

Clearly communicating all project deliverables and activities helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is a clear understanding among team members. Moreover, focus on project progress and status. This helps identify potential roadblocks and allows for proactive problem-solving.

6. Set Frequent Milestones

Frequent and smaller milestones provide opportunities for the team to celebrate their achievements and boost morale. This, in turn, helps maintain team motivation and engagement throughout the project. It enables the project manager to adjust the project plan or timeline if needed, based on the progress made toward each milestone.

For example, an e-commerce brand is creating its website. The manager charged with handling this project will set frequent milestones, such as the completion of the wireframe, design, and development. 

7. Test Early/Prototype

Testing early and prototyping is crucial to identify any potential issues or bugs in the project. Moreover, early testing and prototyping also help identify any potential risks or challenges that could impact project delivery or performance. The team can then take corrective action.

For a mobile application development project, for example, the team tests the application’s prototype early to find out any bugs or issues before the final product is released to the market.

8. Reward the Team When Milestones are Reached

Rewarding the team when milestones are reached helps to motivate team members and create a positive work environment. Acknowledge the role of team members; it fosters a sense of accomplishment and lets the team know that their hard work is being recognized. It can lead to increased productivity and higher-quality work.

For instance, project managers can reward team members by providing bonuses, recognition, or team-building activities when project milestones are achieved. This not only motivates team members but also fosters a sense of collaboration among them.

9. Learn With Every Project

Inculcate the habit of learning from every project you work on—the successes, the failures, the obstacles, etc. This helps to avoid repeating the same mistakes in future projects. Project managers should also encourage team members to reflect on their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and share their insights with others.

After completing a project, managers can conduct a post-project review. Here, they can further evaluate the project’s successes and failures, and identify lessons to implement for future projects.

ALSO READ: What is a Project Manager’s Salary and Why You Should Care

Learn the Rules of Project Management With Emeritus

Rules of Project ManagementWhile it is valuable to know the rules of project management, it’s equally important to get the skills and expertise to implement them too. This is where Emeritus comes in. Aspiring and established project managers keen on brushing up their skills learning new techniques, discovering the latest tools, and staying up-to-date with industry changes. All this helps with landing a lucrative job.

So, enroll in Emeritus’ online project management courses to learn and upskill. The courses equip them with the knowledge required to chart a successful career in the field. So, take that first step to success with Emeritus. 

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About the Author

Senior Content Contributor, Emeritus Blog
Iha is the grammar guru turned content wizard who's mastered the delicate dance of correcting bad grammar and teaching people how to correctly pronounce her name. With a filmmaker's flair for marketing and digital media, she's the project ninja, flawlessly coordinating remote and in-person teams for 6+ years. When not conjuring captivating copy, she's delightfully torn between diving into 5 books or diving into endless series—decisions, decisions. Beware of her mischievous dog, who is always ready for a great escape!
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