I'm not the best at making resolutions for the new year. Last year, for example, I vouched to spend more time on self-care and say no to too much work. That didn't work out so well.
Project managers sometimes ask me what I think they should be doing better or differently. We all seem to have the common goal of wanting to improve our skills and do better at our jobs. It's part of the challenge and the fun of project management - continuous improvement.
So this year I've put together a list of three simple things that you can easily do to improve your approach to project cost management. These resolutions will help you stay on top of your project budget and have more confidence dealing with the financial aspects of work.
They are easy to do. You just have to commit to do them.
Here they are:
I don't know about you, but my time tracking is still quite spotty. I have had two main projects this year. I work out my hours on a monthly basis, using the average length of a working day and then broadly how many days/half days I spent on each project, looking at the meetings I had.
This is not scientific at all.
Luckily, we are an internal team and don't bill our colleagues or clients for our time, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't much matter. But if you work in an agency setting, time tracking becomes essential. Do it properly and encourage your team to do the same.
Monthly Budget Reviews
If you don't do these already, you should. Right now I'm reviewing the budget almost daily to make sure we get everything accounted for before year end. The busy times for you will depend on your company's year end and how you account for multi-year projects.
Check through the budget every month. It will make your reporting better too.
I don't really do this. I trust my colleagues to tell me the truth. I have no reason not to believe them when they tell me a task will take 72 days. But next year, I'm going to try to challenge appropriately. The question I'm going to use is: "What would it take to do it faster?"
That's not undermining their expertise. In fact, it's drawing it on even more. I'm asking for their expert input into how we could get the task done more quickly. I think this way of challenging could help us all get more delivered but with less conflict.
What are you going to try to do differently in 2019 to help your projects manage cost better? Or more generally? Do you set professional resolutions at all? Let me know in the comments!
Pin it for later: