I’m guessing you don’t have unlimited resources, right? And even if you do, I’m sure you prefer to use the minimum amount of resources to execute your project. However, sometimes we get so carried away by the excitement of achieving a project that we don’t stop to make an adequate assessment of the costs involved. Then it happens—we get to the middle of the project and find ourselves spending more than we had proposed.
So, as much as getting the right people on board for your project is important (as you will find out later in this article), getting your team to make efficient use of the resources available at the moment is also equally important.
Here are some tips to keep your next project under budget:
Find the right team
This is one of the most vital parts of your project—particularly when it comes to efficient use of resources. It is important to find team members that are skillful and have expertise. The more skillful they are, the fewer resources they need to execute their tasks.
It is also important to take note of the character of the people involved with you on your project. One way you can overspend on a budget is to have dishonest team members. The best way to counter this is to watch your hiring process. Be strategic in recruiting—you can even get your current employees involved.
Get involved in the hiring process of your team members, especially if you have been given the authority to choose them. And if you don’t have the authority to choose your team members, at least you can assess their character and only give the monetary parts of the project to the trusted members of your team.
Assess the strengths of your team
It is important to assess the skillset of your team. You want everyone functioning at their optimum capacity in the areas of their strength; this means putting square pegs in square holes. “That is, you need to know who on your team works best with minimal supervision and can be left to run, who needs to be spurred on and who needs to be reined in—and manage them accordingly,” says Dr. Tim Lynch, CEO of PsychsoftPC.
Likewise, assess the weakness of each member of the team and try to play to their strengths only. This way you will have the best hands managing your resources.
Break projects into milestones
Every project has high goals and objectives to be achieved. Breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks with due dates set for each milestone will make it easier to control and monitor. It is easier to manage the process of execution by setting realistic timelines for measurable milestones. When your project team only views the project as a set of huge goals, it can take a toll on them—and even you.
However, it’s imperative you celebrate milestones as they’re achieved and reward team members. Acknowledge every team member who has completed a milestone; it gives the needed encouragement and strength to go on and achieve more.
Develop a good feedback and conflict resolution system
One of the basics of keeping your project under budget is monitoring and control. Set up a weekly status reporting meeting to get feedback on the work assigned to team members and discuss the issues that have arisen over the course of the week—and ask what else could be needed to achieve more with fewer resources. It’s about resolving conflicts that occur among team members. It’s a unique avenue for knowledge sharing sessions. It’s also about keeping the team on their toes and ensuring that they’re achieving the objectives.
By merely getting feedback from each team members’ progress in front of the rest of the project team, it can serve as a motivation for others to put extra effort into achieving objectives. Resolving conflicts quick enough can ensure collaboration among team members.
Ensure accountability of team members
You’ve got to get your team to take ownership of the budget. If it is only you on the entire project team who cares about keeping work under budget, you’re probably not going to achieve your target. You’ve got to influence your team members and make them buy into the estimates.
One way to that is to get them involved—requesting for their inputs—in the early process of determining the estimates. If you do it all alone, there’s a high chance that they don’t feel accountable for the estimates. When everyone on the team is involved, it is easy to hold them accountable when the deliverables are way above the estimates. You’ve to get the team engaged right from the beginning. Make them a key part of the stages of planning to execution.
Use collaborative tools
A project management tool is useful for this purpose. You can keep all your work in a place, keep track of your employees’ work, and you can also communicate with them throughout the day without disturbing the flow of work.
You can also use automation tools that can be expensive for your business at first, but will be worth it in the long run. For example, if you’ve been running into problems in your sales department, consider using tools for sales management. Tools like this will prevent mistakes and will save employees time.
There are some things to consider before starting out on a project that would ensure not only efficient use of resources but effectiveness in execution. Keep these tips in mind to not only improve work projects, but save money at the same time.