I recently observed a clockmaker fixing an old grandfather clock. While he had the clock open, I marveled at all the gears and inner-workings of the clock and how all of them had to work in sync in order for the clock to keep accurate time.
As I thought about how one small gear not working in that clock can make the timing off or potentially stop the clock, I compared that to the multiple custom eLearning projects we work on here at eLearning Brothers. I have been working on a couple of complex custom eLearning projects, with many moving parts and team members to manage. When one of those parts or team members does not meet a deadline, the entire project team is impacted.
As a Project Manager we have to manage all the moving parts to keep our projects on track and “ticking” along smoothly. A few of the critical items we need to manage closely are:
- Deliverables and Expectations – Ensure all team members are plugged into the “big picture”. They must all understand the scope and expectations of the project. Clearly define each team member’s deliverables and expectations.
- Deadlines – Communication of due dates is critical to completing projects in a timely manner and holding all team members accountable. When one team member misses a deadline, it impacts the whole team and potentially the success of the project. Keep your team updated with project deadlines.
- Accountability – All team members must be held accountable. Each team member contributes to the success or failure of a project. If things are not going as expected, hold each team member to task and discuss deliverables and expectations and the impact of their success on the entire project.
- Project Progress Checks – Frequent progress checks are critical to your success as a Project Manager. As a PM, you need to know where your project stands at all times; are you meeting development deadlines, are you waiting on content from your clients, are there issues that need to be resolved with the content/client, etc. I like to have project team meetings at least twice a week (more frequently as necessary), so that the entire team knows where we stand on deliverables and how they play an important role in the on-time completion of a project.
It is our job as a Project Manager to keep our projects “ticking” along smoothly, just like that clockmaker and the old grandfather clock.