Project management is the ability to manage projects, and it is a true artform.

It seems like such an easy task to do, but it isn’t. In today’s fast paced environment, staying on top of the many demands, isn’t as easy at is sounds. True, some industries are more hectic than others, however, all industries have been impacted by the speed of business. We’ve all heard how “Time is Money” – and it doesn’t make it less true just because you’ve heard it a million times.

This is especially true in a billable hours setting when reporting time-spent on work is an integral part of your business. Clients trust that a business will not undercut them and lie about how much time it took to complete a task, but they also expect that the company they hire will manage projects in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

This is where being organized comes in: you can be smart, fast, sales-focused and all that jazz – but none of it matters if you can’t stay organized. So before getting certified as a PMP, here are some tips on how to be an excellent Project Manager and manage projects effectively, effortlessly:

1. Understand The Project Intimately:
It is crucial to truly understand the task at hand before delivering any promises to your client. There are several elements that come into play when you are organizing a successful project: budget, logistics, time, labour, suppliers, vendors, revisions, etc. Ensure that you have a grasp of what is involved in order to execute a more seamless project.

2. Create A Workback Schedule:
Working backwards seems unnatural – but when you consider the only inflexible element, the deadline of the project, then you’ll understand why everything stems from there. It will also give you a better idea of how much time you actually have for every deliverable that needs to happen before the deadline.

3. Expect The Unexpected:
Murphy’s Law had it right – if something bad can happen, it will. When you are planning a project, expect that there will be several rounds of revisions; a supplier may not deliver on time; the printer will malfunction. My point is: give yourself some wiggle room in case something (and it probably will) bad happens.

Being proactive rather than reactive is a good skill set to have when you need to manage projects. Anticipate that things will go wrong and always stay on top of every task. Project management is an integral part of being successful, regardless of your position or industry. Manage projects or they’ll manage you.

What are some of the effective methods you have used to manage projects successfully?