As a team leader, there are many obstacles that you will need to overcome and, perhaps, one of the biggest challenges is to plan a project.
Project planning can often be a lengthy and stressful task, and trying to rush through the process can land you in hot water.
All projects are different and the same approach cannot be applied to every project, especially in the food industry.
If a customer hires your restaurant for a catering event, for example, the desired cuisine for one client may be entirely different for the next. One event may be as simple providing desserts and pastries for an afternoon tea time, while the next may be a hefty menu offering of filet mignon and delectable sides to accompany the dish.
In any case, the reasons for a failed plan can be similar. If done correctly, project planning can actually be very rewarding, especially when you yield the desired results.
Let’s explore the key factors to consider and areas of concern to address when planning for a successful project.
One of the biggest problems that project planners face is that they quickly lose scope and focus of their projects, due to other distractions at work, like employee management, customer service issues, etc.
Such distractions are some of the most common reasons why projects ultimately fail. Then to add to the existing worry, pinpointing the other determining factors can be quite challenging.
You might think that you are right on track and that the project goal is clear, but you will never know when you start drifting away from it, because minor deviations over a period of time can lead to disaster.
There are many variables that you need to keep in mind during the early planning phase, but this becomes a major challenge when the current focus is only directed on the end result.
You’ll need to consider how many employees you’ll need to help order the food and take inventory prior to the event, the number of cooks you’ll need on deck to prep the food the day of, and how many able bodies will be serving the food at the site.
Many people agree that such a lapse often occurs due to lack of clarity and communication. To fix this problem, you need to make sure that team members are on the same page and fully aware of what is expected of them.
Keeping the scope in mind can make life a lot easier and it is imperative that you do so because, otherwise, you will get off track quite easily.
Another barrier that hinders proper project planning is lack of communication.
Everything that you need to do should be decided early on and made clear to all of your team members. You should clarify the goals and assign the tasks in the beginning of the project so that you don’t have to face any hiccups later down the line.
The problem with miscommunication is that no one wants to take responsibility, and that is when the success of the project is compromised.
The best way to solve this problem is to have weekly meetings regarding the project’s progress. During this session, you should ask the necessary questions to each of the team members and ensure that every stage is running smoothly.
With this approach, even if there is a miscommunication occurrence, it will be caught early on, and you can rectify the error without losing out on valuable time. To make sure that communication is not an issue, you should consider program solutions, like schedule text message apps.
These types of applications allow internal group chatting to discuss work, as well as send notifications when new schedules or team meetings are posted, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
Another important component of project planning is selecting the perfect team for the task at hand.
When you are picking out your team, you need to make sure that you pick only the right people for the job. Aside from that, you also need to ensure that you have the resources to complete the project.
If you have the resources but don’t have skilled people to utilize the resources, then your project won’t meet expectations or may even fail. You should also make sure that the workload is evenly distributed across all of your employees involved.
You should also track the workload so that you know which of your team members are close to completing their current task so that you can assign people with further tasks in advance. Workflow management plays a huge role when you are concerned about the end result of your project.
When you get a new project, another challenge you may face is trying to accurately calculate how long the project will actually take to complete. You should always set realistic timeframes because if you get carried away then things will become more difficult to manage.
Never make the mistake of becoming too optimistic when it comes to setting the time frame of your project. However, this doesn’t mean that you become too relaxed and set a long due date for the project.
The same advice can be applied when setting the budget for a project. As it goes with budgets usually, they are always limited and you need to use them wisely.
You will need to determine how many hands you’ll need on deck to help prepare for an event or project, and then take into consideration how much each employee is paid on an hourly basis. Be realistic and plan smart.