THINK BIG

Setting objectives is nothing new to project professionals, but sometimes it’s too easy to let stakeholder expectations drive progress. Resource constraints will always be with us, but try injecting one or more of these tips into your next project to see how much your team can accomplish if they aim beyond users ask of them.

Take standard projects to the next tier
Most Project Teams have a handful of repeating projects—software development, employee relocations, equipment design, etc.—that sometimes cause the team to go on auto pilot. Rather than applying the standard template to the next such project, step back and choose one thing improve upon. Make the enhancement of the target area its own objective, and see how much you can boost results. Choose a different area of focus during the next project and repeat the process.

Examine the potential for insourcing or outsourcing
If your team is stretched thin juggling too many disciplines, consider turning over one particularly resource-intensive task to an experienced contractor or vendor. Conversely, determine if it’s feasible to bring an outsourced task in-house (this works especially well if you’re interested in gaining better control over the cost or quality of a particular function). The change might result in your Project Team beating the pants off the typical project schedule or budget, but even if it doesn’t, your team is likely to learn some new ways to streamline old processes.

Establish areas of expertise
Generalists are crucial to a Project Team’s success, but everyone has at least one area they’re particularly skilled in. Talk with your team to identify those niches, and then encourage people to beef up their individual expertise even more. By developing next-level competence in each of their focus areas, your team members can significantly add to the sum total of the group’s knowledge.

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