Project management consulting is one of many business niche ideas in the consulting industry that someone with certification in project management can successfully launch in the United States. Project management is a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from conception to completion; It’s a temporary endeavor initiated with the sole aim of creating a unique product, service or result as the case maybe.

One good thing about project management is that it is not restricted to an industry. As a matter of fact, as a project management consulting firm, you can choose to work for businesses irrespective of the industry they belong to. The bottom line is that you should be able to help them achieve results as it relates to the project that they want to undertake.

The fact that the project management industry is becoming one of the highly competitive industries means that for you to stay afloat as a project management company, you must adopt some of the best project management tips and tricks most especially if you are new in the industry.

Here are 30 sure-fire project management tips and tricks for beginners that will be of great benefit to you.

30 Best Project Management Tips and Tricks for Beginners

  1. Adopt Best Practices in Project Planning and Economic Assessments

One of the best tips and tricks you need to run your project management firm as a beginner is to adopt international best practices as it relates to project planning and economic assessment. This is an important area in the project management industry

  1. Adopt Best Practices in Quality Management Assessment and Accreditation

If you work as a project management consultant, any organization that hires your services would want nothing but the best, and one of the sure-fire tips and tricks that you can adopt in other to keep delivering top notch services is to adopt international best practices in quality management assessment and accreditation. The truth is that what you deem quality might fall short of the required standard in other climes hence the need to always adopt international best practices.

  1. Feasibility Studies, Including Environmental Impact Assessment and Community Consultation Must Be Top on Your List When Managing a Project

Another important tip that you need to adopt as a newbie in the project management industry is to ensure that feasibility studies which includes environmental impact assessment and community consultation must be top on your list when managing any project. Come to think of it, you can hardly carry out any project management job without first carrying out feasibility studies, including environmental impact assessment and community consultation.

  1. Hire Experts to Handle Your Cost Management

As a project management consultant, people would always expect you to have a full grasp of cost management. That is not a problem, but if you want to stay ahead of your competitors, part of the tips you would need to adopt is to ensure that you hire certified professionals to handle all your cost management related assignment. With that, you will be certain of getting the best and with very minimal errors.

  1. Hire Experts to Handle Your Scheduling Management

Another project management tip for beginners is for them to hire experts to handle their scheduling management role. One of the best things to happen to you as a project management firm is for you to have core professionals handling different aspects of your service offerings.

  1. Hire Experts to Handle Your Compliance Management

If you want to be seen as the best project management firm in your location, then you most ensure that you hire competent professionals to occupy strategic positions in your organizations and one of the key positions that must be occupied by a core professional is compliance management position. This is one of the best project management tips that will ensure you only execute quality jobs which will help you to always welcome repeat customers.

  1. Hire a Qualified Lawyer to Handle Your Contract Administration

Another tip and trick for beginners who are starting out in this industry is to ensure they hire qualified lawyers to handle their contract administration. No doubt, you might not have the money to keep a qualified lawyer under your payroll if you are just starting out, but you will do your business a whole lot of favor if you at least get a lawyer to work on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.

  1. Your Client’s Best Interest Should Always Come First

Part of the best project management tips and tricks that you need to adopt as a beginner is to ensure that your client’s best interest always come first. Research shows that any business that ensures that their client’s interest is always at the top burner usually does well in business. So if you want to do well as a project management consultancy firm, then your client’s best interest should always come first and everything you do should be guided by your values and professional ethics.

  1. Be an Ardent Researcher

Becoming an ardent researcher is yet another project management tip for a beginner in the industry. The project management industry needs you to be vast and well informed about news and trends in the industry. What does this mean? This means that you have to be alert about everything that concerns project management. You can successfully pull off being a researcher off by reading books on this business, and using the internet.

  1. Be Technology Savvy

Another best project management tip for a beginner in the industry is for them to be technology savvy. The world indeed has gone global, and you should move with the trends. You have to be a technology savvy person if you want to record good success as a project management consultancy firm that is just starting out. This is particularly important because you may record the highest number of your client via the internet. Therefore, if you do not know how to go about things on the internet, you better learn.

  1. Get Business Training

It is okay to get trained and certified as a project management consultant; however, it is a whole lot better to have a business training background. This is especially important because you would garner a lot when you learn from experts the rudiments of how to run your business.

  1. Have an Eye for Details

Another project management tip for a beginner is to have an eye for details. Project management requires that you take off the burden of executing a project from start to finish from the shoulders of your clients. Therefore, you would need an eye for details in addition to the eyes you have got. Now, the truth is that you would need to be extremely detailed. You do not want to come across your clients as one who leaves out some important details when managing a project. If you do not possess this skill now, you may consider building it up.

  1. Know How to Close Business Deals

Knowing how to close business deals is yet another tip a beginner in the project management industry must be equipped with if indeed they want to do well in the industry. Some folks are good at marketing and talking people into patronizing their services. But at the end of the day just when they thought the client would deal, everything falls through. This to a large extent means that the client lacks the finesse to close a deal. You have to learn how to do this if you do not have the skill yet. One of the ways to pull this off is by following your potential client up big time. Be in your prospects face so far as they have registered an affinity with your brand.

  1. Learn to Always Go the Extra Mile

Another best project management tip and trick is to ensure that you always go the extra mile when working for a client or executing a project management contract. You stand to gain a lot when you go the extra mile in dealing with your customers. If for instance; a client wanted you to provide a particular service, you could go the extra mile of providing even more just so that you really win the hearts of your clients.

  1. Train and Re-Train Your Workforce

Any project management consultancy firm that is just starting out must never ignore training and retraining of their workforce if they want to remain competitive in the industry. This doesn’t just apply to only your employees; you have got to learn how to create time off your tight itinerary to attend training.

Things begin to go wrong the day you feel that you do not need to be re-trained. Consequently, look for trainings that can make you and your employees become better at what you do so that the company may be run on new ideas.

  1. Stay Transparent

As project management consultancy firm that is just starting out, staying transparent is one sure-fire tip that you need to adopt. This as a matter of fact is one of the most important tips that you should look to adopting. When your clients sense that there is some crookedness in the way they are being dealt with, then they may begin to look elsewhere. It is for that reason that staying transparent should be your watch word.

  1. Reward Repeated Customers

The way your loyal clients are treated should be a big deal to your company. The truth is that without these repeat customers, then you are likely going to struggle to grow your project management consultancy firm or even stay afloat. So, make rewarding your loyal customers an imperative practice.

  1. Reward Your Employees

Your customers aren’t the only ones who have done a lot in building your brand; your employees should also be rewarded. If you feel you have workers who need to be appreciated, then do not relent to do this as you would be motivating them to put in more in uplifting your project management consultancy firm. So part of the project management tips and tricks that you need to adopt as a beginner in the industry is to ensure that you reward your employees when they perform excellently well.

  1. Make Use Appropriate Project Management Software

Making use of appropriate project management software is yet another project management tip to adopt. With a good project management software, you will be able to manage not just the project that you are managing, but also your entire workforce and your business process.

One good thing about project management software is that it is easy to understand and use if you pay attention to it. You can choose from a host of project management software such as AceProject, Teamwork Project, Teamwork Desk, Basecamp and Bridge24 amongst others. Just get their trial version so as to study them to know if it is suitable with your business.

  1. Pay Your Vendors as at When Due

As a beginner in the project management industry, if indeed you want to grow and stay afloat in the industry, then you must ensure that you pay your vendors as at when due. The truth is that companies that pay their vendors on time build better relationships with their suppliers and are in a stronger position to negotiate better deals, payment terms and of course discounts.

If you maintain better working relationship with your vendors, it could save you money in the long run when it comes to getting larger discounts for bulk purchase, recurring orders and maximizing the credit period. A breakdown of working capital levels shows that the biggest improvement comes from improved payables performance and reduced days payable outstanding (DPO).

  1. Clearly Highlight the Details of the Project to be Carried Out

Another key project management tip you need as a beginner in the industry is to ensure that before embarking on any project management contract, ensure that you carry out due diligence. When you carry out due diligence, you will be compelled to clearly highlight the details of the project to be carried out and with that, you will be able to secure buy-in from all key stakeholders. Make sure that the project plan is clearly verified and that the goals of the key elements are clearly defined and closely aligned.

So also, when you clearly highlight the details of the project to be carried out, it will make it easier for you to establish measurable and trackable success including accomplishing tasks on schedule, achieving budget targets, confirming product functionality is satisfactory to the customer, and ensuring government and/or industry regulations are met.

  1. Clearly List Critical Project Milestones

Achieving success in bits is part of what makes for an overall success especially as project management consultant. Clearly listing project milestones is one project management tip you need as a new project management consultant.

Knowing all the project details and milestones up front will help you get cleared on the project so you can map out a plan without surprises down the road. It is the norm for projects to go through the usual life cycle and you can provide a life cycle of the project by including the four main phases: initiation, planning, execution, and closure.

It is pretty important to always perform real evaluation at the end of each phase. Clearly listing critical project milestones will not only help you to eradicate project risk and monitor project change, but will also help you stay on track throughout the duration of the project.

  1. Ensure That You Critically Examine Every Deliverable

One project management tip you need as a startup project management consultancy firm is to always ensure that you critically examine every deliverable. You should cover all aspects ranging from parts of the product to the technical documents, to the project plan; you will need all of the elements involved to ensure the product is meeting the project specifications. As a matter of fact, the project you are executing needs to be aligned with the quality your customers are expecting.

  1. Keep the Communication Channels Open

Ensuring that all your communication channels are always open is yet another tip a beginner should note. There are loads of stuffs that can go wrong and even wreck the project you are managing if the communication channels are not open and free flowing. Keeping the communication channels open means keeping in touch with all key stakeholders and team members during the project process.

Just make sure that every member of your team (back office staff and field workers) has the information necessary to make decisions and proceed with the project. You can also keep every member of your team on the same page by creating status reports based upon the project information and updates.

  1. Never Neglect Documentation Process

Another very important project management tip a beginner in the industry must not neglect is keeping documents as it relates to project management contracts that you are handling.

Just ensure that from the initiation of the project to the milestones along the way, you should have documentations that are duly signed by all the stakeholders involved in the project. This is very important because your business can be ruined through litigations if you fail to provide the required document that can vindicate you.

  1. Anticipate and Manage Risks Associated with Projects

As a beginner in the project management industry, it will be to your best interest to always anticipate risks associated with projects and then create solution in advance on how to better manage the risks. The truth is that there can be a risk at any time during the project.

Your experience with similar projects can help guide you so that you can foresee when risk is imminent and when corrective action needs to be taken. You will need to identify and control project risks before they control you.

A risk is a potential problem, so you need to take care of it before it becomes an actual problem. Come to think of it, risk management is one of the most imperative best practices in the project management process, and of course it is essential to the overall success of any project.

  1. Put Modalities in Place to Help You Avoid Scope Creep

Another key project management tip and tricks that a beginner in the industry needs to adopt is to put modalities in place to avoid scope creep. Even though some change is inevitable in any project situation, but it is essential to always keep the project you are handling from creeping into disorder. Generally, scope creep happens when new elements are added to a project that’s already been approved, but no approval is given to increasing the budget, adding more time to the schedule and/or adding more resources for the revised project.

If the project’s scope needs to be revisited, you can play a part in the re – scoping process. In order to be at the top of your game, ensure to have the proper documentation and have all stakeholders sign off on these changes before proceeding.

  1. Ensure to Always Run a Test on Deliverables

Testing all deliverables during and at the end of a project is another important project management tip to adhere to. Agreed project deliverables should be tested at every critical milestone and the final product must meet the project requirements as stipulated by the client.

Before moving on to the next phase of the project, you must ensure that the project is progressing as expected. This is so because at the end of the project, the deliverable must meet or even exceed the client’s expectations before you can tag the project a success.

  1. Never Close a Project Until Deliverables Are Achieved

Another important project management tip a beginner in the industry must abide with is that they should ensure that they never close a project until all the deliverables are achieved. That is the final stage in the life cycle of a project.

The close of any project is a sign of achievement for your organization and must not be done in a haste especially when your client still has some reservations on some of the deliverables. It is important to do all you can to successfully close a project because only when a project is successfully closed that your client will be happy.

  1. Always Evaluate Project

As a beginner in the project management industry, an important tip and trick that you must not neglect is the evaluation process in any project. The truth is that you stand to learn new things when you evaluate a project from beginning to closure; you will want to review the project as a whole, as well as analyze various project components.

With that, you will be able to improvise on ways to do things better and faster. Part of the questions you should ask during the evaluation processes are; the lessons you learned along your project management process, the project successes, the project disappointments amongst others.

After that, you are expected to make informed conclusions about the project’s quality and the product’s performance and then make a comparison with the planned return on investment (ROI) to the actual ROI as one way to understand the level of your success. Putting to use the lessons learned from each project concluded will help you minimize future failures and maximize future successes.

Ajaero Tony Martins