Best Tools for Digital Project Management (Part 2): How to Manage Risk, Finance, and People
Risk Management and Digital Projects
Risk identification is like collecting everything that can have a negative impact on project development. That does not sound very tempting, but if you include this activity in the project planning phase, you will help yourself (and your project) a lot. In addition, you get a useful list that you can record directly in the Risk Management tool.
This is a full-fledged project management process:
- Risk identification and assessment – find out the probability, severity, and timing of risks and, consequently, what contingency reserve you can count on.
- Risk monitoring and control – filter individual risks, e.g. by project, severity, or timing, and prioritize them accordingly.
- Risk management – assign a response to risk and dealing with it: create tasks, assign responsible persons and monitor developments.
Tip: Sending a bulk email to all team members asking, "What do you think can go wrong here?" is not the optimal solution. You'd better call a meeting! It is still not the standard in our region, but if you discuss the risks directly with each other - and even with the client - in the end, you will save time. Additionally, you will not overlook special risks that you may not be able to identify as a manager, but your specialists will. Colleagues responsible for each task will be able to explain directly to other team members what the risk is in their part of the project and what can be done about it. For digital projects, there is enough to explain, especially from developers. For example, you eliminate the threat of insufficient deliveries, which could then "jam" the project. Besides, putting your brains together will help you not only identify threats but also find solutions. So let's say that the first step in risk management is to schedule such a meeting.
Budget and Cost Estimate
Similar to “classic” projects, the budget of digital projects is very fragile. Project managers fairly often encounter the situation where in the phase of product digitization itself - during programming, testing, and optimization – the price estimate does not match what was approved in the preparation phase. What can be done about this? If you follow the first advice in financial management and also regularly monitor the current spend vs. project budget, you will quickly find out if you are on the right track or if you are losing track. The key is to always have control over finances. Know if you're over the plan or you're in hot water and in both cases understand why. This will help you react quickly and avoid having to deal with the problem hastily.
Resource Management in Digital Projects and Optimization
When planning tasks, most importantly do not forget about testing and subsequent optimization. For any application or website, there will be bugs that you will find out during testing. Our advice therefore is:
- In the Scheduler, set aside time for (A/B) testing, which will include those colleagues who did not work on the project. It can very easily happen that they give you an impetus that you, as too involved in the project, have successfully overlooked.
- Reserve time for optimization, which includes bug fixes. Beware, these can also be time-consuming tasks, not just "cosmetic treatments".
- At least one week after the official project launch, provide the capacity for any modifications to the product after the feedback you receive from end-users. But make sure you have a place to record it and how to evaluate it. The Help Desk is ideal for this purpose.
- For B2B teams, it will be important to have the business opportunities and tasks in a single CRM with full contact availability.
The process of creating a digital product has its specifics, which are also reflected in project management. It's a good idea to discuss project risks with your team right from the start. When creating your project’s budget, keep in mind that your project’s trajectory does not run only from A to B, but that testing, optimization, and then user support also follow. We look forward to your new digital project, let us know how you are doing!
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