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Effective IT project management can be tough for SMB owners. Especially if you don’t have adequate staff or resources.

Keeping on top of every stage of your project can seem daunting, but making sure that everyone involved has a crystal clear idea of procedures, task handling, and precautions will help your project run smoothly. It will also leave you with a productive understanding of how best to manage your IT projects.

Here are 7 handy IT project management tips you can put into practice for your next project.

#1 Always have the end in mind

As obvious as it may seem, starting with the end in mind is an incredibly effective way to document each step of the project. It will also give you a clear idea of what needs to be completed.

Take the time to plan and define your objectives before you create a detailed step-by-step plan. Budget and schedule should follow and you should have a clear idea of how to take your project from inception to completion.

#2 Establish and implement milestones

As early as possible, establish realistic milestones for your project. It’s a great way to keep your team members motivated. Milestones can also help keep you accountable and avoid  delaying necessary progress.

#3 Get comfortable with risk management

Unwelcome surprises can crop up at any moment. Have a plan for managing potential risks. Keep everyone informed on what to do when reporting risks that might threaten the progress of the project. Make sure you have a contingency plan in place for those moments.

You might not be able to control every risk, but you can be prepared for setbacks and unplanned circumstances.

#4 Make the most of online tools

Utilize as many online tools and platforms as you can. Get your team trained on collaborative management tools where tasks and projects can be assigned, tracked, and monitored in real time.

Back up every single aspect of your project, including tasks, reports, and schedules using  stable cloud solutions. It project management can be easy with online tools and IT services that help you keep on top of your project’s success.

#5 Favor schedules over features

Start placing more importance on your project’s schedule rather than its features. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the many features of your work and far too easy to leave your schedules on the back burner.

Implementing a solid schedule-driven plan will help you to become a better delegator as well as making sure that your attention is focused on the areas you’ll be able to measure.

#6 Be honest about the shortcomings

Every project you will ever run will leave you with do’s and don’ts for the next big thing. Be completely honest with yourself and your team when it comes to evaluating your project’s success. Be clear about what went wrong, what unexpected setbacks you faced (if any), and what really worked so you can implement  IT project management changes for next time.

#7 Have all of your resources in one place

Don’t waste time sending back and forth emails to track down the latest version of a file or chasing someone up for an update. Studies have found that workers spend too much time searching for information and could be wasting the equivalent of a day’s work every week.

This is especially important in IT project management. Organize your resources in one, easy to find and easy to navigate location, whether it’s digital or physical to cut out the unnecessary and consuming time spent trying to track down documents or information.