Book | Project Management Lifecycle

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Whether you are responsible for developing a new office building or updating your information system (maybe even planning a family holiday), you need to have a process in place to get you from the beginning to the end of your project successfully. This process is called the project management (PM) lifecycle. Typically, it consists of four steps: project initiation, project planning, project execution and project closure.

 

1. Project initiation — Get the ball rolling

It’s tough to define each of these stages in terms of their importance, but you can make a solid case for project initiation being the most important within the PM lifecycle!

In this step, you are developing the need for your project and defining the scope of it. Key data points include defining the project’s purpose, the vision and mission, identifying stakeholders and understanding how the project affects them, along with many more.

In simpler terms, it’s useful to think of the PM lifecycle as planning your family holiday — your mission is determining where you want to go, your stakeholders are your family members, and your income and savings determine your budget.

 

2. Project planning — Decide on the most efficient way to get to your goal

Project planning defines the overall approach you will take in tackling the project (strategic planning) and fleshing out the specific tasks to accomplish it (implementation planning).

Going back to the family holiday analogy, strategic planning is determining how you want to get to your destination. Flying and driving are potential options, as is taking a cruise. You can probably rule out walking early in the planning process…

If you decide on driving to your destination, Implementation planning would consist of planning your route, deciding how long you want to drive each day and identifying where you want to stay when you stop at the end of the day.

 

3. Project execution — Execute the plan

In this stage, you carry out all the tasks you planned in the previous step. Your role as a project manager would be to ensure that you and your team carry out the tasks in an organised, logical manner, keep track of your expenditures versus your budget and adjust your plans if you encounter unexpected difficulties.

Relating this to driving on your family holiday, you need to stick to your route (so no unplanned shopping excursions that take you miles off course!).

 

4. Project closure — Evaluation is key to the success of future projects

In this final stage, you evaluate how successful you were in meeting your project’s objectives and document any lessons learnt that will help you execute future projects. Learning from our mistakes is one of the most valuable skills in life and is especially applicable in project management.

At Verto, we can provide you with work collaboration and project management software that helps the project management office (PMO) and stakeholders interact more efficiently and improves project control, giving you an edge in all four of these stages.

Our cloud-based software provides dashboard status and reports as well as document storage and sharing. Stay in touch with us, follow us on LinkedIn and chat with us on Twitter to learn more about our ideas and software.

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We're on on G-Cloud 11

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Verto has been a supporter of G-Cloud since its inception and uses each iteration to introduce new and improved services in response to the changing needs of the UK public sector.

 

We've gone further...

 

For G-Cloud 11, Verto has gone further than ever before.  By introducing Verto Plus, an easy to use, out of the box work management solution designed to help both experienced and new project managers, Verto now provides everything an organisation needs to effectively manage its capital and revenue programmes.

 

But that's not all, Verto’s new powerful dashboard, integrations including popular work tool Slack, and chatbot help function continue to drive innovation and ways to enhance existing users’ experience.

 

To see how Verto can help your organisation plan, collaborate and track benefits using cloud technology, contact us for a demo or sign up for a 30 day free trial.


stakeholder engagement with Verto

The business of innovation: How can project managers make sure stakeholders embrace change?

The business of innovation.

How can project managers make sure stakeholders embrace change?

The business of innovation:

How can project managers make sure stakeholders embrace change?

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stakeholder engagement with Verto

We explore how innovation can cause concerns amongst key stakeholders, and how your approach can manage these challenges and potential roadblocks.

1. Keep your cool

It can sometimes seem like everyone is in the business of innovation,  and project managers are increasingly under pressure to embrace the trend. One of the keys to successfully managing an innovative project is to try and maintain your cool.  Not something that is always easy in light of the many differing ideas and opinions that come from stakeholders who are either participating in the project or who are affected by it.   One of the first steps you should be taking is to identify these stakeholders, and have an effective system in place to be engaging with them and address any concerns they may have about the project.

2. Hold on for a bumpy ride

Brian Uzzi, the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organisational Change at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, points out in an article in the Harvard Business Review that innovative projects can be challenging – especially in regards to finding new ideas.

Uzzi proposes several steps when dealing with the challenges that the politics of innovation create. Firstly, anticipate that there will be resistance to the project (my fortune teller told me it was a bad idea!) and plan to deal with it early in the project management life-cycle. By identifying potential points of resistance early on, you can show how the benefits of the project can outweigh the concerns stakeholders may have.

Innovation requires allocation and deployment of organisational resources… without definite proof of future returns.”

3. Build Trust

Politics can mask the real concerns that stakeholders have but there are plenty of opportunities to remedy these issues, as Uzzi points out: “Innovation requires allocation and deployment of organisational resources… without definite proof of future returns. This ambiguity allows politics to enter into the choice process, as people attempt to influence decision-makers toward favouring innovations that advance their individual interests.”  In short, innovation can be a gamble and people have a vested interest in backing their own horses.

Try to  develop enough trust with your stakeholders to get them to reveal their true concerns about the project looking.  How? Well, for starters by looking after them  – simple things like food and beverages at meetings through to fostering transparency, collecting and sharing information and data, mean you can then start working to gather and present data that addresses the real issues and start moving forward.

4. Be prepared to pilot your idea

Uzzi continues this topic and alludes to the dilemma that occurs when workers are trying to implement a new idea: “People won’t support an idea without sufficient evidence it works, but securing data-based evidence of an idea’s effectiveness requires launching it in some form.”

“People won’t support an idea without sufficient evidence it works, but securing data-based evidence of an idea’s effectiveness requires launching it in some form.”

Overcoming the internal politics can be one of the most challenging project management techniques, sometimes even more so than developing the project concept itself!

If you’re looking for a helping-hand throughout a project, Verto’s cloud-based management software can help stakeholders work together with the project management team, as both parties can access the software to view the latest project reports, provide updates and communicate with each other.

It takes a lot of work to effectively engage stakeholders for the long-term as a project progresses, but Verto can help simplify the process for you. Like what we’ve got to say? Why not follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn as well.


How to improve your stakeholder engagement

lego people showing stakeholder engagement in public meeting outside lego building

 

These days stakeholder engagement is an important part of almost all projects.  Because when you engage with your stakeholders, and you do it well, it can have a significant positive impact on your whole project.  And, of course, the reverse is true when your stakeholder engagement doesn't go well, so it's critical you try and engage with your stakeholders as well as possible.

 

 

Before you start, it’s important to be clear about who your stakeholders are and what you mean by engagement.

Who are your stakeholders?

A stakeholder is any person or organisation with an interest or concern in your project.

Your project may affect them, and they may also influence it.

This means you can have a very diverse mix of stakeholders.

What do you mean by engagement?

Just as you can have a diverse mix of stakeholders, so you will engage with them in a variety of ways. However, whichever method you use, you will have the same aim: to establish a meaningful connection that allows your stakeholders to hear about, comment on and become involved in your project.

At the start of your project you need to find out who your stakeholders are and engage with them all.  You also need to be clear about why you want or need to engage with your different stakeholders. Ask what can they bring to your project and what is your responsibility to them?

It’s likely you’ll need to engage with a broad mix of organisations and individuals who will have different interests, motivations and may approach the project from very different backgrounds. All this will affect the way in which you choose to engage with them. For example, you’re not going to report back to a local user group in the same way that you’ll send your annual report to a national body such as NHS England or the Department for Communities and Local Government.

To help you engage well with all your stakeholders, have a look at our nine top tips.

1. Be timely

Start your project with some form of engagement activity. It will help shape everything else you do and let people know from the start that you are serious about listening to and working with them.

2. Be relevant

Don’t send everything to all your stakeholders. Because of their different interests and roles, they’ll want and need different information at different times and in different formats. One of the key ways you can help people stay actively engaged is to send them the right information at the right time.

Think about what your different stakeholders need. Some will simply need to be informed through, for example, an annual report, but won’t be directly involved in the project or its activities. Others will also be your partners in delivering a project and you will need to collaborate with them throughout the lifetime of the project. Others will be somewhere in the middle and you will need to ask their views, listen to them and share information with them at regular intervals. But they won’t be involved in or need to be updated on everything.

3. Be flexible

You want to involve as many of your stakeholders as you can. This means using as many methods as possible to help different people engage with you.  Some stakeholders will readily engage with technology  - this is true of many more people as technology such as mobile devices and virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa become a standard part of our lives.  For others, different methods of engagement will be needed.

For example, some people will be happy speaking up in a meeting while others will prefer to fill out an online questionnaire in private. Some people will need help from others so they can engage. And different groups of people will find it easier to attend meetings and events at different times of day.

4. Listen

It’s more important that you listen to your stakeholders than talk to them. You want them to help inform and shape your project and the only way they can meaningfully do this is if you listen to what they have to say. That doesn’t mean you act on everything everyone says, but it does mean everyone gets a fair hearing and a chance to share their point of view.

Which leads us nicely on to…

5. Feedback

It’s vital you provide feedback to your stakeholders. The outcome of a decision or the final shape of your projects many not be what they were hoping for. But this will be easier to accept if you explain why.

6. Be honest

Different stakeholders may have different opinions about what success means for them.

So from the start you need to be clear about the limits of what your project can achieve, how quickly any change can come about and who else needs to be involved.

Change often takes longer than people hope for, but if they have realistic expectations from the start they are more likely to stay positively engaged.

7. Involve your whole team 

Don’t assign your stakeholder engagement to one person and leave it all to them. Although you need someone to lead and guide the process, everyone can and should be involved and aware of the part they play. You all have a responsibility to listen to and share information with your stakeholders.

8. Keep in touch

Keep everyone updated regularly so they know you are still working on the project and can see its progress. Knowing what’s going on will help people stay positively engaged.

9. Monitor stakeholder engagement

Be proactive. Monitor who is engaging with your project, when and how. If people who were engaged become less so, get in touch with them and find out why. Ask what you can do to re-engage them.

How Verto makes it easier for you to engage with your stakeholders  

Verto helps different stakeholders work together. Anyone with access to the system can see the most up-to-date project reports, update information themselves and communicate with the other partners who use Verto.

This means everyone has direct access to the latest information, can clearly see what’s going on and can use Verto’s instant messaging tool to communicate quickly and easily with each other.

Long-lasting, effective stakeholder engagement is hard work. As with all your project management, Verto makes it easier for you.

To find out more about how Verto can help with your stakeholder engagement please call us on 0118 334 6200 message us or sign up for a 30 day free trial!


Person Under Plastic bag

Five ways work management tools build transformational culture  

“People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.”    

The most successful organisations are those that embrace change and constantly move forward. Building a transformational culture within your organisation is key to progress, growth and innovation. It is not easy, however. It relies on the entire workforce not only understanding what needs to change, but also easily seeing how that change can be implemented and the benefits that will result. 

We look at five ways in which work management tools can play a vital role in building a transformational culture.

 

 

 

1. Organisation 

 

Cloud based work management systems can organise information, providing a complete overview of a project. This gives everyone involved a clear picture, along with data that can be used to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. They give a team the chance to track a project in real time and adapt as the project progresses so that time, resources, enthusiasm and momentum are not wasted. 

 

2. Consolidation 

 

A big advantage of work management systems is the potential for consolidation. Most importantly, the right system brings all the moving parts of a project together.  A dynamic space that is always up to date. Knowing where your information is can be key to understanding where your organisation is on the transformational journey. Being able to access all project data and communications in one place pulls disparate details together, enabling teams to connect the dots and see how change is positively impacting the organisation. This can help to cement confidence in the transformation process. 

 

3. Visibility  

 

Having up-to-date, visual information helps encourage understanding and buy-in when it comes to the process of transformation. This is particularly important for project sponsors, who can use software to assess how the lever of strategy relates to transformation programmes, which are effectively the cogs attached to the lever. One-touch reporting means that change can be monitored in real time. Each new update changes the overall picture, building a visual representation of how each small step is moving the organisation towards the desired change. 

 

4. Learning  

 

Work management output information makes using data analysis as a learning tool simple and intuitive. In order to make good decisions and learn from the project management process, the whole team needs to understand what worked well, why things went wrong, and how threats and opportunities were dealt with along the way. It is not easy to utilise this information while the project is in progress, unless there is a central system where all relevant data can be accessed, in real time, by everyone involved. 

 

5. Evaluation  

 

Project evaluation is key to building a transformational culture. The project wrap-up process, and retrospective analysis, can contribute to a continuous learning culture that underpins transformation. Project management software provides a ready-made system, storing all the data needed to put together a useful evaluation on which to build future change. 

 

Verto software can help you build and  embrace transformational momentum. To find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.com  register for our 30 day free trial!

 


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Here's why we'll be at The Kings Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2019

 

Verto will be joining leading NHS and social care professionals at The Kings Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 22-23 May 2019 to explore how data and technology can improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the quality and efficiency of services.  Verto’s cloud based work management software brings together real and virtual teams, even across different organisations to plan, collaborate and manage digital transformation in the health and care sector.   

 

So, what does that look like?  Well, the practical tasks that sit behind challenging transformation need putting in place and managing. Changing the way we do things does not happen in a vacuum. This is where Verto comes in.  We’ve all been there, trying to bring together disparate people, teams or organisations.  There’s often a blizzard of emails, some data on spreadsheets which could be correct or not, depending on which version you’re looking at, a hazy view of who is doing what, until they’re not, projects stuck in the approvals bottleneck – this is just a flavour but any of these things very quickly can make a transformation programme get stuck in the mud. 

 

Now imagine you’re a bird – the flying kind, not an ostrich.  You’re going to be the Verto bird, soaring above your work with a birds eye view of everything that is going on. A single version of the truth with everything in one place that you can look down on.   Immediately see which tasks and milestones are on track. Risk assessment?  One glance tells you the projects that need prompt attention.   You can see who’s working on what and where your resourcing and skills capacity may be.  You’ll also have one touch reporting at your fingertips  - no more lengthy manual report compilation or digging through multiple spreadsheets.  Projects sponsors can instantly see how things are going so no risky surprises!  You are the peregrine falcon of transformation.  Nothing will escape your eye. 

 

Verto’s templates can craft use cases for faster project launch so that Verto becomes the engine room for your transformation programme.  It is a single location for files, to-do's, authorisations, risk management and timelines.  We’ve got Gantt charts (really good ones), if that’s your thing.  We can bolt on to loads of other software (just ask) and we’ve got a great looking dashboard – because who wants to look at boring?

 

The thing is, there's a clear drive to improve systems for the benefit of both NHS staff and patients.  A drive to deliver efficiency and value.  A drive to make sure things are done right, first time.  A drive to manage risk and make sure there is good governance.  A drive to get things done, individually, as a team and where necessary as a cross-organisational team.  This is what Verto helps make happen.  

 

We're working with over 35 health sector clients across the UK to help them transform health and care.  Come and see us on our stand 22-23 May at the Digital Health and Care Congress  - we’d love to find out more about your work and show you how Verto can help.. You are also supremely welcome to drop us a line at  info@vertocloud.com or swing by our website for a free trial!

 


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5 top tips for managing multiple projects

Woman juggles hoop and lit balls at night

 

 

Managing a project can be challenging enough. Managing multiple projects within the same programme or organisation can be even harder, especially when there is some crossover, with resources being spread across two or more projects. If you are juggling multiple projects, then here are five top tips to help you keep those balls in the air.

 

 

 

Keep everything in one place 

 

It is vital to have a way to manage all your projects in one virtual space. This gives you an easy overview of each project and how they fit together.. It also allows team members to manage their time and respect the time of others. Verto project management software allows you to coordinate multiple projects, with well-laid-out dashboards that give everyone a clear visual representation of what is happening with each project, who is responsible for what, and what current workloads might look like for team members.  

 

Start your projects off right 

 

A good launch is essential.  With multiple projects on the go, it is more vital than ever to have detailed project plans from the beginning. Make sure that the goals, deliverables and responsibilities for each project are carefully defined at the start. The outcomes and timeline for each phase of each project should be clear to everyone involved. Again, the right software can make this seemingly complicated process surprisingly easy, providing an overview of how all the moving parts will fit together.  

 

Set your priorities 

 

Prioritising projects is a valuable skill. Some projects will have a bigger, quicker impact on organisation goals, and those should be the ones that are given priority. It is also possible to set priorities across multiple projects, as long as you have that clear overview in place. Look at the programme or organisation as a whole, and assess the impact of the projects being implemented.  This will help with everyday priorities when it comes to execution and task assignment. 

 

Manage team members’ workloads 

 

It makes perfect sense to have team members contribute their specialist skill set to several different projects as needed. However, to do this, with multiple projects running simultaneously, it is important to manage individual workloads and ensure that team members are not overstretched, stressed, and trying to decide for themselves what to prioritise. Verto software allows project managers to see at a glance how much work each team member has on their schedule at any given time, and how that might change in the near future, allowing for careful planning, and adjustments to reallocate resources as needed.  

 

Schedule carefully

 

Managing multiple projects takes careful choreography.  Verto software makes it easy to schedule projects with your full portfolio in mind.  It provides a coordinated overview of your various projects.  You can coordinate team members’ time and see which projects (and tasks within projects) are dependent on other tasks and projects being completed.  This visibility avoids duplication across projects.  It also allows team members to plan their schedules efficiently, as they can see what to prioritise when they have a long task list spread across different projects. 

To see if Verto project management software is right for you, get in touch with us at info@vertocloud.com or sign up for our  30 day free trial!


For busy people: A very short guide to project management software

 

 

We're all busy, some of us productively, some of us not.  We all need stuff made short and simple.  Which is what this piece does for project management software.  The right project management software can make all the difference when it comes to successful project completion.  It can provide solutions to all the major frustrations and time drains that all project management teams need to address.  Here's how ..... 

 

 

 

Organisation 

 Project management provides solutions to all the common organisational issues that every project experiences. It facilitates a centralised system, accessible by everyone involved, with clear dashboards showing project progress, next steps, timelines and budgets. This clear visual overview of the project can be updated at the touch of a button with each step forward that the project team takes. 

 

Accountability 

 Within any project management team, accountability is vital. The right software system provides a transparent, easily accessible and updateable task list, indicating who is responsible for what, what has been done, and what is overdue. One-touch reporting allows team members to inform the entire team of project updates instantaneously.  

 

Consolidation 

 Software can consolidate project data with relative ease. It keeps all information in one place, with important data clearly displayed, and all files automatically updated to the most recent version. Communication can also be centralised through the system, cutting out the need for countless emails and face-to-face meetings, where only the people involved know what was discussed. 

 

Follow-up 

 Following up on tasks becomes easier but less necessary with the right software in place. Managers can see at a glance which tasks are complete, and which are still pending, and easily check what the status is on anything for which they are waitingTeam members can update the system in real time, so there is no time wasted in chasing up people who may or may not have completed tasks because of a lack of clarity. 

 

Visibility 

 One of the strongest benefits of project management software is the ability to create a clear overview of an entire projectDashboards can be customised, with all key information represented in one placeManagers can track project progress from their desk in a fraction of the time it might previously have taken to pull together an overview of the project, and the overview is complete, with no missing documents, reports or data floating around. The dashboard is your own 'at a glance' picture of everything you need to see.

 

Evaluation 

 Ongoing evaluation is essential to good project management. With advanced software, evaluation can be built into the system, with things such as current spend, projected timelines, progress towards desired outcomes, and other key performance indicators incorporated into the system, so the progress of the project is obvious. Detailed records of every phase of the project are logged, allowing for an easy assessment of the success and cost-effectiveness of every project. 

 

Feedback 

 Feedback on a finished project can also be facilitated by project management softwareIndeed, software systems can be set up for built-in feedback. Communication between managers and team members is recorded, both during and after the project, allowing everyone the opportunity to report on lessons learned in a way that will contribute to all future projects. 

 

Verto software can help you manage the pain points in your projects. To find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.co.uk or register for our 14-day free trial


5 steps for managing project risk

person tightens carabiner in preparation for climbing

 

Excellent project managers are not scared of risks. Far from it. They know that identifying, prioritising and managing risks can actually be what makes their project more likely to succeed. Risk can sound like a negative word, but risk management is a positive, proactive and essential process. Good project managers will incorporate risk management into every stage of the project life cycle, using these five important steps. 

 

1. Identify risks  

 

Potential risks should be identified early on, in the planning phase. Risks should be assessed with an open mind, and feedback should be sought from team members, stakeholders and outside experts. Early risk assessments are all about considering what could go wrong, what impact this might have, and how likely it is. You are trying to identify, and ultimately plan for, possible but undesirable scenarios here, so it is important to be honest and realistic, rather than overly optimistic. Identifying risk does not equal failure. 

 

2. Get to know your risks 

 

Once you have identified risks, it’s time to analyse, prioritise and document them. The better you know your risks, the easier it will be to respond to them. Once you fully understand the nature of a risk, you can put plans in place to mitigate it. You can assign it a priority, based on the impact it will have and how likely it is to occur.  Devise a process to monitor it and predict when it might happen. You can also document it so that everyone on the team knows that the risk exists and should be tracked.  

 

3. Plan your responses 

 

The most important reason to get to know your risks is so that you can plan for them effectively. Planning risk responses means taking a decision on what needs to be done. You may need to take steps to avoid the risk, or put a process in place to deal with the risk if it happens. It may be possible to reduce the likelihood of the risk, or minimise its impact. It is also useful to assign ownership of the risk. Who is responsible for monitoring it? Who is responsible for dealing with it if it happens? This should all be documented so that everyone knows who to turn to regarding any given risk. 

 

4. Communicate with your team 

 

Documenting your risks in a centralised system is a great way to communicate with your team. The right systems and software can ensure that all relevant team members are aware of risks and risk management strategies, and can be easily updated as risks become moreor less, likely. Any updates to the planned responses to risks should also be clearly documented. 

 

5. Don’t ignore positive risks 

 

Modern risk approaches include assessing positive risks, also known as project opportunities. These are uncertain possibilities that could have a beneficial impact. Monitoring them, and taking advantage of them, can help your project be completed faster, cheaper and more effectively.  

 

To find out how Verto project management software can help with your risk management strategies contact us at info@vertocloud.com or register for our 14 day free trial!

 

 


Choosing Apples 2

Quality and price – how can we better focus on delivering quality outcomes?

Every project aims to deliver high-quality outcomes at an acceptable price. This is not a new challenge, but recent developments are making it more troublesome than ever in many areas, and in particular when it comes to public services. Across the UK, local councils are having to make better spending decisions in order to cope with constant cuts while trying to maintain quality services at the same time.  So how can we better focus on delivering high quality outcomes?

 

Balancing quality and price is something that can be learned from previous successful projects. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the chance to focus on them, especially in challenging times. In a recent Guardian articlethe director of the UKs Government Outcomes Lab, Mara Airoldi, claimed that years of focusing on the complexities of Brexit has deflected government attention from many health and social projects. In order to move forward and focus on delivering quality outcomes at a low cost, it may be time for central government to pay attention to the various projects that have been successfully run by local councils, the NHS, and other public service providers. 

 

Here at Verto, we are aware of how well some local initiatives are working. We know from our extensive work with local government and across the NHS that with the right systems in place, projects can be successfully completed to a high quality and on modest budgetsHow can project managers better focus on delivering high-quality outcomes at an acceptable price? 

 

1. Pay attention to pricing from the outset 

 

Poor pricing at the beginning of a project leads to problems as the project progresses. This is exacerbated in climate of austerity and spending cuts. Low budgets make it tempting for project teams using outside suppliers and contractors to always go for the lowest price. This in turn tempts contractors and suppliers to quote an unrealistically low price, knowing that this is the way to secure the contract.  

 

When your project is relying on outside supply chains that have underestimated costs, you will often face delays and issues with quality. As those contractors struggle to meet their commitments, they may sub-contract at low cost in order to try to meet original targets. If contractors and suppliers do deliver on time, they may have cut costs somewhere along the way, sacrificing quality in order to meet their budget. 

 

Pricing realistically can avoid the problems of quality dropping as overstretched contractors struggle to deliver. While it is tempting to look for the lowest possible price, delays and low-quality deliverables will ultimately drive up the cost of the project anyway.  

 

2. Clear roles and responsibilities 

 

When quality is sacrificed to keep costs down, a culture of blame can develop. Team members are unwilling to accept responsibility for problems and delays that they see as unavoidable due to the fact that they were working with limited resources. By ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and documented, it is possible to keep blame and conflict under control.  

 

Each team member should know exactly which part of the project they have ownership of. The sense of ownership can help to ensure that team members do the very best they can with the part of the project for which they are responsible. This may not avoid cost versus quality issues completely, but will support individuals to produce the very best quality they can, with the budget they have, rather than constantly shifting blame onto other people. Clearly understanding in advance what your deliverable is, and what the budget for that deliverable is, can make team members surprisingly resourceful. 

 

3. Understand expectations 

 

It is important that all team members understand what is expected of them. Only then can they work together to produce what they need to, in order to satisfy clients, end users and other stakeholders. Producing a high-quality outcome at a low price is challenging, so it is vital to avoid wasting any resources on things that are not actually required. Not everything that costs money is necessarily adding value to the project – or it may be adding value that is not important to the stakeholders. Project managers should, of course, establish desired outcomes and expectations at the start of the project, and plan to reach those outcomes at the lowest possible cost. Constantly updating stakeholders and clarifying expectations allows the team to avoid extra costs that may be adding limited value to the project, or providing benefits that have become less relevant to end users. 

 

4. Communicate effectively 

 

In order to constantly clarify expectations, effective, real-time communication is vital. The right project management software can make this almost effortless, with constant project updates available to all relevant parties.  

 

Communication within the project team can also be key to producing high-quality outcomes without running over budget. Good communication can help avoid duplicated effort and minimise delays between interdependent tasks. It can allow team members to predict what is needed in advance, and make the best use of time, skills and resources to move the project forward as smoothly as possible. Time is, of course, money, and when budgets are tight, using time efficiently is an excellent way to keep quality as high as possible. 

 

5. Manage change carefully 

 

Every project is subject to change as it progresses. This is given, and is also an opportunity to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. Sudden or unpredictable changes to the project will result in delays, confusion and often a temporarily stalled project, causing budgets to get out of hand quickly, even though no actual progress is being made. 

 

Well-managed change can have a positive impact on overall quality while keeping costs lowAn honest risk assessment and effective risk management plan can mean that changes to the project are dealt with so well that there are rarely significant delays or extra costs. An assessment of positive risks will also allow the team to identify opportunities that arise during the project that may even improve quality or cut costs. 

 

Verto project management software gives teams all the tools they need to manage their projects efficiently. To find out more contact us at info@vertocloud.co.uk or register for our 14 day free trial!