By Mufti Yusuf Moosagie
Every big task you are allocated at work, or you undertake at your home or in your personal life can be seen as a project: from designing a website to renovating your home. There are specific skills that are required for you to bring the task to fruition.
Project management can be defined as the discipline of applying specific processes and principles to initiate, plan, execute and manage the way a task is completed, whether in an organization or individually.
If you manage your job and personal life, you probably have a reasonable level of project management skills.
The challenge is that we sometimes get caught up jumping from one task to another, scrambling to get everything done and in the end, nothing gets done, or it gets done in a less than perfect way. I want to share five tips on how you can improve your project management skills:
Take the time to understand the purpose of your project and what it will achieve.
عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ “ لاَ عَقْلَ كَالتَّدْبِيرِ – رواه ابن ماحه
It was narrated from ٍSayyidina Abu Dharr Radiyallahu Anhu that the Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “There is no wisdom like reflection.” [ibn Majah]
Never begin a new project without a complete understanding of what is expected from you.
One minute of planning saves you ten minutes in execution. Create a to-do list with the tasks you need to tackle. Break down big tasks into smaller ones and prioritize what is essential and allocate time accordingly. Organize the tasks into a timeline.
Understand the costs involved in completing a project: this can mean material costs, labour costs, and even indirect costs, and then building a realistic budget. Ensure that throughout the process, you stick to your budget.
Everything may not go as planned. You need to think of possible problems before they arise. In that way, you will be one step ahead. You will then be able to deal with what can go wrong on a project, not in a worried or stressful state, but in a focused and controlled state.
Openness To Learning
The best way to learn is through practical experience. Mistakes as a project manager will happen, and it’s how you deal with them and learn from them that makes you a great project manager.
Retrospection is a big part of self-development and evaluation. After the project is complete, sit down and ask: “What did we do well?”, “Where did we lack?” and “What can we do better next time?”.
Every project is different; hence, as a project manager, you need to be adaptable. You may have your strengths and weaknesses; however, through continuous refining, adapting and improving your project management skills – you will become productive and successful as a project manager.
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