Working as a Project Manager for the Continuing & Professional Studies (CPS) at Towson University, I often find myself immersed in a copious amount of projects that are all seemingly different. However, I believe the biggest aspect to project management is organization. Using the following best practices gives me and my colleagues the chance to build and maintain organization and structure throughout the course of any project.

In order to help organize myself and stay on track, here are four best practices of project management I like to keep in mind.

1. The Kick Off

At CPS, we always like to “kick off” the project with the client. This allows for a continuity of expectations, scope of work, and explanation of services. Often times we are working on projects where the knowledge base is way outside of our wheelhouse. Therefore, we really rely on the client to help educate us.

Interestingly enough, not having that knowledge base can be extremely helpful because we are able to view the project through fresh eyes. Currently we are working to produce a number of videos for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Since our staff’s backgrounds do not consist of early childhood education, we rely on our expertise in project management, videography, and marketing to help navigate the client to the best possible explanation for their larger viewing audience.

2. Documentation

Document all details about the project. This is such an important step in project managemen because it not only helps us stay on task but it also helps us to inform our client of the project status. Sometimes projects do not seem like they should take an extended amount of time. However, many people are unaware of the myriad number of details that have to be addressed. It’s always best practice to document these details to best inform the client.

3. Updates

Juxtaposed to the documentation of details, we also give regular updates to the client. Updates tell the client that we have not forgot about them and progress is in fact being made. And it also keeps the conversation open to expand upon existing projects or contracts. Part of our business development comes from the referrals from clients because of the relationship we have developed.

Lastly, as a project comes to an end, it is important to put together a strong check out list. Just like the documentation and status calls, check out lists tell the client exactly what has and has not been done as part of the scope of work.

Hopefully, by using these best practices of project management, you will stay organized and help have the peace of mind that everything is getting accomplished.