Project management is a crucial element of getting a produce designed, developed, and to market on time and on budget.
But what exactly does “project management” mean when it comes to product development?
Project management is the strategy or plan you use to initiate, execute, control and close the work of your team to achieve specific goals and meet specific criteria by a projected deadline or completion date. Since you’re typically working on a strict deadline with possible repercussions to your product if you don’t meet that deadline, the main challenge of project management is being able to achieve all of the projected goals within those given time constraints.
So how do you accomplish this? We’ve compiled some tips from our project management team on how to ensure you meet your goals and progress through the process as smoothly as possible.
Document your requirements.
Our team strongly recommends having a detailed document that sets out the goals and deadlines of your company’s project from beginning to end. This timeline will serve as the skeleton of your project, and become a reference for your team to make sure things are moving along in both a timely and correct fashion.
This document is essentially the guide, or bible, for your project team and it will allow them to know exactly how far ahead or behind, or on schedule they are moving.
Build flexibility into your deadlines
It’s a good idea to pad your deadlines a bit, even if you ideally want to stick to your schedule. High-quality products shouldn’t be rushed.
Even if you feel pressure to get a project, or product, completed by a certain date, it’s important to remember that the ultimate goal is to have things done as correctly, not quickly, as possible. Deadlines are important, yes – but getting the right result out of your project is even more important.
No one will want to buy a shoddily made product, even if it comes out into the marketplace on time.
Identify the risks
Identifying and understanding the potential risks inherent in your product development will help you avoid sudden roadblocks that might otherwise derail your project. This is particularly true in the area of medical product development.
Risk identification can mean anything from figuring out the potential pitfalls of working with a new materials vendor, to thoroughly exploring the cutting-edge technology you’re working with.
And when you’re developing a medical product, there’s a much greater risk that must be studied: the risk to a potential patient. When a product involves protecting human life, figuring out the risks, what could go wrong, and how to fix whatever does go wrong, is a vital part of your project management strategy that should be in place from the beginning.
Acknowledge your milestones
Keep up your team’s morale by publicly acknowledging the milestones your team meets. It won’t just help your team – it will have a positive effect on the rest of your company, too.
Letting people know how the development process is going reassures everyone involved that your team is on top of the project, and it makes your project team feel valued and appreciated. There’s nothing wrong with owning up to it when a project is behind schedule, but it’s even better to celebrate those successful moments during the life cycle of the project.
Pivot International has been an important part of many different companies’ project management processes, but we offer a lot more services, as well. Click here to find out more.