September 26th, 2019
Not every project management process should be done by the book because projects tend to be agile. Even after laying out a solid project plan, you’ll likely still face challenges that need to be addressed with innovation and creativity.
This is why you need employees who can come up with creative tech solutions to rising problems that they wouldn’t have otherwise conjured if only traditional thinking was applied. If you want your tech teams to think outside the proverbial project management box and become more creative in innovation and problem solving, here is what you should do:
Allow Your Teams to Collaborate
In the traditional way of running projects, teams work separately without any collaboration; something that can limit project efficiency. By encouraging communication and collaboration between teams, you enable co-workers to share ideas and offer input on how the project should move forward - making it more effective to accomplish tasks. Also, through collaboration team members can stay abreast of when tasks are completed and when they will be required to take the next steps.
Encourage Creativity and Innovation
As much as we would like to think the backbone of project management is predictability, this isn’t typically the case as unforeseen issues tend to occur and must be quickly resolved. In order to manage this unpredictability, you need a flexible team that can not only anticipate these problems, but also come up with creative ways to tackle them on the fly.
Managers often stifle their creative teams by micromanaging them. Guidelines are important to keep employees on track but when it comes to creative teams in particular, they need more room to come up with novel solutions.
After all, is it really inovation if norms are not broken? If management is always telling creative teams what to do, and requiring a stamp of approval for every simple task, then management can unknowingly create a culture where team members just execute their ideas and are no longer inventive.
If you are lacking creative resources on your team, bringing these types of assets onboard should be a priority. If a project is short-term, and you will only need these resources for a limited amount of time, consider bringing in a team of consultants to run the project and provide specific deliverables.
Get Feedback from End Users
Without user feedback you may end up creating a product that the client or business will not adopt or use to its fullest potential. Forward thinking project managers encourage end users to provide feedback throughout innovation or even opt to create a prototype or focus groups to get constructive critiques to ensure that the end product is useful and nonetheless an overall success.
Put the Opposition in Power
Projects are executed by teams composed of individuals and thanks to human nature, egos often clash and politics come into play when deciding which path the team should take to achieve its end goal.
Once the leader lays out a plan, a camp of dissenters typically develops and starts criticizing the plan from all angles. The intuitive reaction for a team leader is to crush this line of thinking and try and convince all opposition their way is best. One way forward thinking Project Managers curtail this line of thinking is to invite the chief dissenter to take charge of the project themselves, and to use their critiques to make effective changes.
This clears the developing schism in the group and orients the entire team in the right direction as the newly appointed leader has to step up, rally their fellow dissenters to work with everyone else and show they can be originative while sticking to the project’s core objectives.
Develop an Open and Flexible Approach
Project management is all about planning how the project will run-setting goals, assigning tasks and implementing processes to complete the given task with a specific timeframe, but these plans should never be set in stone. Being open and flexible to changes allows the team to improvise if the initial plan isn’t effective or becomes costly and time-consuming without providing results.
Successful Project Managers should foster an environment of receptiveness and have an open door policy when it comes to suggestions on how the project might run more efficiently. This mindset encourages employees to bring forward ideas they otherwise would have kept to themselves.
Need to think outside the box?
Let the professionals at ASB Resources help you. As experts in project management solutions, we can help you come up with modern, agile and non-traditional, but effective ways to run your projects. Schedule a chat with one of our experts today!