This is a guest post by Lorin MaCann. Lorin is an inbound marketer and growth hacker at Lotus Growth,a B2B marketing consultancy. She is also the founder of Vrtical, a B2B web design and inbound marketing agency. Lorin specializes in building and scaling marketing programs for early-stage and high-growth companies. Contact her at [email protected]
Before embarking upon your next large-scale project, spend time up-front investing in success.
Because of the complexity inherent in large-scale projects, it’s easy to over-complicate rather than simplify. But, creating simplicity, transparency, and alignment are key to managing large projects with ease.
Start by getting the whole team laser-focused ahead of time. Here’s how:
1. Define and prioritize goals in advance
It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission…except when embarking on a large-scale resource-intensive project!
Whether you manage a small team undertaking a large, focused project or a large team spread out across multiple locations, planning ahead is critical for success.
Before beginning, meet with all key stakeholders. Outline big-picture goals first. Next, break the larger project into smaller, manageable milestones. Finally, agree on a deadline for the entire project, and also each milestone.
This outline is not always easy create, but it is the roadmap that will keep everyone aligned throughout the project — so it’s important to share it. Rather than keeping that document only at the top-level, distribute it to the entire team during a kick-off meeting.
Transparency creates accountability and contributes to better morale. Now your entire team has a top-level view of the project and can stay aligned from start to finish.
2. Empower your team with a project management tool
Unfortunately, email isn’t enough to handle complex projects or even day-to-day tasks. It’s crucial to get your team into a platform where they can move forward on projects with maximum speed an accountability. Unlike email, a project management platform also gives you and other team leaders access to top-level reporting and reduces the need for frequent meetings.
If your organization or team isn’t already using one, try a project management and collaboration platform like Redbooth. Redbooth is easy to use and robust enough to unite multiple teams across your entire organization. If your team handles both simple, day-to-day tasks and large projects, this is a great solution.
Getting your team on the same page will let you to spend less time managing. Instead, spend that time moving the project forward on-time without maxing out your resources.
3. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug on tasks that are getting in the way
Some tasks will move the project forward, and some won’t. But, it won’t always be clear at the outset — sometimes resources will be dedicated to a task that winds up being unproductive. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug on tasks that add bulk to the project, but not value.
Bonus tip: Consider creating a system or simple list of criteria that allow all project managers and even individuals to make some of these decisions. This prevents bottlenecks that ultimately lead to over-extension of both time and resources.
Large projects are always challenging, but incredibly rewarding when executed effectively.