In this age of digital transformation, an increasing number of employees are finding themselves taking on the role of Project Manager without actually having a background in project management. What used to be a role designed to simply manage projects with clear start and endpoints, now has evolved into a cross-functional role of organizing people and processes while managing resources to produce results for both stakeholders and the company.
Because of this, project managers have become more valuable to organizations, and the demand for their skills and strategic roles has grown worldwide. The following best practices provide insight into how to be a successful project manager within Workfront.
- Organization is key
- Prior to launch, a project is simply a mix of data, requests, and unspecified objectives. The role of a project manager is to sift through all the information and establish a clear timeline that is both easily manageable and realistically attainable.
- Start by creating a flexible project template within Workfront to save yourself time from recreating the same framework for each project. Templates provide you with a way to capture all of the repeatable processes, information, and settings associated with your projects, and will help to organize all data in a single place.
- For a more accurate project timeline, apply a task constraint to template tasks that require a specific start or completion date and leave those tasks that are not yet scheduled to “As Soon As Possible” so they can continue to update in the future as the schedule firms up.
- Analyze data using dashboards
- Reporting is a major component of successful project management as its purpose is to effectively and efficiently communicate project status at regular intervals. Without having to deep dive into each work item, Workfront reports and dashboards provide visibility into all managed objects in a single view and can be shared with colleagues, managers and stakeholders through repeating deliveries.
- To stay on top of your work, organization is key, however, building reports and analyzing the data will drastically improve a project’s success rate. From the reporting area, create a variety of reports such as tasks due this week, overdue tasks and projects I own with key custom fields, and add them to a dashboard. That way, all managed work is clearly visible on a single page and tasks requiring attention can be immediately addressed. For extra visibility, set the dashboard as a custom tab or connect with your System Administrator on adding it to your layout template.
- Share lessons learned
- All projects should have a post-project review so that the team can share what went well and what didn’t. This can happen in the form of a team meeting, lunch and learn or as an update added to the Workfront project that is reviewed by a manager. Our internal best practice is to add post-mortem tasks to every project. By having an open discussion, all involved will benefit from the honest feedback and can take those lessons learned onto the next project.
- By retaining and analyzing lessons learned, project managers can reduce the risk of making the same mistakes, leading to reduced project costs and more successful opportunities in the future.
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