Managing projects is like dancing: it requires coordination, flexibility, and a constant rhythm. In the business world, the rhythm is set by expectations. In this article, we step onto the LOBA dance floor and explain how you can deliver a quality performance.
It's perfectly normal to have expectations about a project, as well as expectations about the clients involved. A slight misalignment between these expectations can result in:
- Increased confusion and misunderstandings.
- Diminished mutual trust.
- Wasting hours and reducing team productivity.
And if this happens, the show is over. That's why it's important to manage expectations before they start managing us.
So, what steps should you follow? Based on LOBA's best practices, here's the list we've come up with:
Step 1: Choose the right music
Just as it's essential to choose the right music for a dance, selecting the project that best matches your profile is crucial. At LOBA, we make sure to understand the project's needs and objectives before we begin and strive to align ourselves with what's expected by talking to our clients and understanding their expectations. This helps establish realistic goals from the outset and avoids misunderstandings later on.
Step 2: Choreograph expectations
Every project has a unique choreography. Create your own choreography of expectations by clearly defining goals, deadlines, and responsibilities. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and dancing to the same rhythm, avoiding missteps along the way.
Step 3: Choose the right dance partners
The right partners can give a significant boost to the project. Conversely, having an inexperienced team can lead to failure. At LOBA, Project Managers start by understanding who is best at what and explain what is expected of each team member.
Step 4: Communication rehearsals
Just like in dance rehearsals, communication is crucial. Maintain an open, constant, and transparent line of communication with the team and stakeholders. This helps prevent misalignments and allows everyone to adjust their moves according to the situations that arise.
Step 5: Flexibility steps
In this dance, steps don't always go as planned. Be ready to improvise and adjust your choreography as needed. Flexibility allows you to adapt to sudden changes and continue the performance smoothly.
Step 6: Don't promise a full show when you only have one choreography
Be realistic and promise only what you know you can deliver. At LOBA, we always consult the project team and consider everyone's suggestions before committing to a specific deadline.
Step 7: Made a misstep? Regroup and keep going
If you forget the choreography - and mistakes are inevitable - accept it and be honest about it. Try to resolve them with the right people and don't hesitate to ask for help.
Step 8: Avoid a too fast choreography
Create a practical and flexible schedule and develop a realistic and practical schedule that allows for possible delays. If the client gives us 4 weeks to complete a task, we try to finish it in 3 weeks and use the 4th week for our team to fine-tune details, correct possible errors, and improve the final result.
Conclusion: Rhythm and harmony in expectations
In project management, dancing to the rhythm of expectations is an art that requires balance and harmony. By following these steps, you can lead projects more effectively, maintaining the right rhythm and avoiding errors. So, put on your dancing shoes and be prepared to lead the team in a smooth and well-coordinated dance through the complexities of the world of projects. And if you have any doubts, you can always count on us.