Project management is a vital role for a chief of staff. But are you proposing compelling projects? This guide will teach you a few best practices.Key takeaways:
- Chiefs of staff are in charge of many projects, like improving KPI tracking, implementing new software, and innovating the hiring process.
- Five best practices for more exciting projects:
- Craft a strong, organized proposal
- Establish better communication
- Create SMART goals
- Be clear about what success will look like
- Know the key stakeholders
What kinds of projects do chiefs of staff take on?Chiefs of staff are in charge of many moving parts of a business. They may be communicating with employees on behalf of executives, monitoring critical business processes, improving a workflow with new technology, giving feedback to the CEO about strategy, and drafting business agreements and proposals. They may have to plan and execute projects like:
- Implementing new software to streamline a process, such as invoicing or managing customer service tickets
- Crafting a plan for tracking new business KPIs to uncover areas that need work, like customer satisfaction feedback programs
- Taking a new approach to training and onboarding new hires
- Introducing new and improved communication tools for the team, like Slack
5 best practices to create more compelling projectsYou need to up your project management game to truly wow your clients and create more efficiency on their teams. How do you improve your project management skills? Here are five best practices to follow in each of your projects:
1. Craft a robust and organized proposalEverything should be clear, organized, and well-defined. Presenting your project proposal is one of the most crucial steps of the process. You should include an overview to nail down the basics, emphasizing why this project is essential for the business to meet its objectives and maintain its mission. Call out all the different teams that may be involved in the project and be clear about each department’s contributions. It should be clear from the beginning exactly how each person or team will benefit from this project and why it’s being pursued. You should also ensure that the proposal is aligned with the business’s budget and timeline and state that in your presentation. Don’t forget to highlight the desired result and how you’ll know you’ve reached it. Keep the proposal professional and straight to the point.
2. Establish better communicationAny project requires that all involved parties are on the same page. Everyone should feel like they’re working toward the same goal. This is more easily accomplished when you prioritize open, consistent communication. There should always be clarity from the team. Make it clear how they can get answers to their questions and where to send their concerns. Make yourself available so people know they can turn to you when they hit roadblocks. Encourage people to provide feedback, too. Foster an environment where people feel seen and heard, and the project will be a genuine group effort. Ask for opinions and ideas along the way. When people feel like they are part of the solution, you will always get the best ideas and the most buy-in.
3. Create SMART goalsVision is one thing; execution is another. To set up the project for success, create SMART goals:
- Specific: Nothing about the project plans should be vague. Be clear about the details with dates, numbers, roles, and outcomes.
- Measurable: You won’t be able to evaluate success without setting up some metrics. How will you track progress? How will you measure each step?
- Achievable: Are the objectives within reach for this business? Are the teams on board?
- Realistic: Consider the project’s budget, timeline, and other factors. Is what you’re proposing reasonable for those parameters?
- Timely: Every great project needs a specific timeline and should be relevant to the business.