Mastering Project Management

Whether you're leading a small team or managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders, this video is a treasure trove of insights to help you become a more effective project manager. Bill's advice is applicable to various industries and project types, providing a comprehensive guide for success.

7/12/20234 min read

person working on blue and white paper on board
person working on blue and white paper on board

Welcome back to advice from a CEO. I've been a CEO for 15 years, partner in companies, president, senior executive, etc. I've had hundreds and hundreds of employees, annual revenue of nine figures. Certainly the advice I've seen isn't advice that would ever work in a company with some scale. This is just everything that's worked for me. Here we go.

Today we are talking about project management, right? Typically, I say that, obviously, you can hopefully feel my sarcasm in there, is because if project management's involved, that means you've got a bunch of different departments. So if you're running a project, I mean, you could be a small business where there's a handful of teammates in you, the business owner, and then the client. Typically, I guess, when I think project management, again, this is coming from my experience of having hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of employees, you're going to have multiple representatives from each department and then potentially a client that's out work facing. And so I guess the first thing you really want to establish is who's leading the project. And then I really love setting ground rules, meaning that the biggest issue, if you've ever been involved in project management or been part of a project, is scope creep. It happens every single time, guaranteed. Every single time there's scope creep. So you really want to set the ground rules to that scope creep, but what you're going to allow, what you're not going to allow, because it's just going to extend the project. And so you're going to want to do that. You're going to want to talk with the project manager, whoever's leading it, of what the communication is going to be like, what are the stand-up meetings, hopefully you're going to have stand-up meetings, how frequently they're going to occur, what are the expectations around an agenda, who's expected to attend, meaning that you know you can have the meeting weeklies, I'm going to make this up, Tuesday at 4 o'clock and whoever can come is going to come somebody's going to take notes, you're going to use some AI to record the meeting, there's plenty of those out there if you don't have one I highly recommend getting one, and you'll disseminate the notes or the recording of the call whether that's through zoom teams or one of the AIs that are out there that are super cool and again if I mention a resource or a book I don't have any affiliates I'm not getting comp for anything I'm just doing this to help so one of the first things that really will help is communication and so it's really making sure you pick the right project manager, them understanding the rules, what type of documentation you're going to use, is this going to be an Excel chart, an Excel chart with a Gantt chart, how are you going to keep track of the progress, how frequently are you keeping track of each person's progress within the designated to-do items, what order do they have to go in, etc.

And you're like, Bill, this isn't my first rodeo. I understand how to run a project. Cool. I guess I'm just trying to understand, laying some of the groundwork of when you're running a project that goes sideways on you or if you're in the middle of a project that some of these basics are out of the way. Right. I guess I just want to make sure we're all starting from the same spot. So the key to really, in my opinion, of really knocking out a good project management is somebody is in power. Because it's not whoever's running this task, this isn't a task for somebody that's brand new to the team, because they're going to be utilizing their relationship within all of the individuals that are participating in the project. And so they might be using some of their relationship capital to make sure deadlines got hit or that they could help, or most likely additional resources are needed. So typically what I've seen in my past is project gets kicked off, it was underestimated of what was needed, and so additional resources are needed, whether it's capital, whether it's additional team members. The worst case scenario is that your client's involved and you need more out of your client. That's probably the toughest ask. I know this is kind of the basics again, but when I guess I think project management, what I really think is over communicating, and then having a standing meeting. You've got to have standing meetings. The more frequently, the better. And really holding people accountable to what they commit each time you meet, to what needs to be done when. Assuming most projects that I've been involved are stacking, meaning one item has to be done. I always love laying out work a month in advance. So as I record this, we're in July, 4th is upon us, there's a lot of people on vacation. And so weeks like these are when projects get off track. Why? Because when the project was originally started, hopefully again You're using a Gantt chart. You've laid it out week by week by week. Nobody ever accounts for vacation, which is kind of like, really?

So when I kick off a project, I really want to talk through vacation schedules, time off, whatever's going to happen, so you know whether or not you got a fighting chance at the due date or how you're going to overcome it. The last thing I guess in this brief overview on project management is at the end of the project, I love doing an after action report, which again is looking backwards and saying, what worked well, what didn't work well, what would we do differently, so you can continuously improve as you move forward. Hope that helps. I know it was brief. I hope all of you have a terrific day. Leave me a comment, question. Love to jump in and record some answers to wherever you'd like me to go deeper.