5 project management best practices you MUST know

Effective project management requires many different skills, practices, and knowledge about the project’s field. This comes as initial advice – be genuinely interested in the area you are managing your project in. Otherwise, no practice will lead you to success.

Now that we cleared that out of the way let’s see what the 5 project management best practices you must know if you want to bring your work to another level are.

Project outline

Always start with blueprints. It will be easier to aim for desired results. If you are just beginning and have a blank sheet use it in your favor. Rather than looking at it as a challenge, change your perspective and see it as a possibility. A project management template is a really good starting point.

Start with the reality check and see what is available for you now: materials, tools, software, contacts, education, locations, and everything else. Don’t think about the frame of the project, if there is one. Once you have done it, you can refer back to your reality check and use these when planning or creating strategic shifts due to unexpected circumstances.

The next thing to do is to find true motivation for the project. If you are managing a project created by somebody else or working in a team, try to see the shared vision that fuels you. It can be abstract and as short as one word. Now that you have your vision, you are ready to set some goals.

SMART goals

The goals of the project or your part in the project must meet specific criteria if you want them to be adequate and helpful in the future. SMART stands for specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, and time-based.

In other words, goals must be objective and clearly defined for everybody involved. Again, if you are setting goals for your role in the project, keep in mind that something that seems obvious now will not be that obvious three weeks from now.

Use precise language, make sure you can clearly identify with yes and no answers if the goal is reached, keep in mind the context you are working in, and always make a deadline.

Partnerships are important

Alright! By this point, you already know what you are doing, where your project is standing, and how you or your team are performing. It is time to involve some outsiders. Now comes the tricky part – how do you trust partners and get them on board for your project?

A calculated risk might be the most suitable answer here. Think about it, instead of doing all the legwork yourself and with your colleagues. You can delegate part of the tasks to another company, business, or individual. Starting from your existing contacts is excellent since you already know more about them than you do about some companies you recently found on Google.


Speaking about Google, always do the research. See how the other party is standing regarding transparency, explore their website, check out their social media, and do additional research if you find it necessary.

Once the decision is made, start with clear and direct communication. Maintain such contact through partnership for the best results, and don’t forget that partnership only makes sense until two and more parties are playing on the same side of the field.

Track progress and make plans

When things are imagined or written down, illustrated, and presented, they are one thing, but executing them, in reality, is entirely another thing. This is why tracking how the project implementation is going is essential. You will quickly identify possible issues, solutions, and drawbacks.

Besides keeping one eye in the rear mirror, make sure you also watch the road in front of you. Create relevant plans for the given moment, even if they differ from your original plans for the project. This methodology is called Agile, and one of the most popular frameworks is Scrum.

In short, it is all about breaking down project implementation into small time-bound segments called sprints. Each sprint can be anything from one to a few weeks long, and it helps project managers (Scrum masters) to track the progress and create plans for the next sprint.

Make use of digital tools

Many digital tools are available online to assist you in your daily work if you manage projects. Make good use of them, and don’t go for several different platforms simultaneously. Find the most suitable platform to track and collaborate with others on your project.

Start with less complicated solutions such as Google Sheets. This way, you will not be overwhelmed and will focus more on managing the project rather than learning how to use the platform. Experiment with several platforms and, based on the results of SMART goals, determine if the platform is indeed bringing value or not.

Final thoughts

Depending on the industry you are working in, chances are that there is somebody who manages similar projects to yours. Reach out to them, talk, and exchange your practices and methods. This way, you will create space for new partnerships and learn from people and organizations dealing with similar issues.

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