The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

6 Tips to Help You Manage Your Next Project Like a Pro

Project-based work is a near-constant in higher ed human resources. From compensation studies to benefits overhauls, HRIS implementations, recruitment plans, engagement initiatives and more, HR is the key driver behind many projects that affect the entire campus community.

But is project management in your wheelhouse? Could you or your project team use a refresher on how to manage time, stay on course and meet expectations when working on a project?

Here are a few tips for getting a project off the ground, keeping it on track and seeing it through to the finish:

1) Create a comprehensive project plan. This includes defining the goal; outlining the steps required to achieve the goal; setting a timeline; identifying and assessing the resources and individuals needed to complete those steps; clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of project participants; setting expectations with project participants and their supervisors; and assigning clearly defined tasks.

2) Hone your communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills, as these competencies are at the very core of project management. To get the ball rolling, check out:

3) Consider a project management platform. Depending on the project, it might be beneficial to use a project management or team communication platform. There are several good ones out there, many of which are free. Two that we’ve used for CUPA-HR projects are Asana and Trello.

4) Regularly review, revise and monitor the project. Blogger John Rampton in a post on suggests scheduling regular intervals to check on the project, being flexible and providing direction to the team when needed.

5) Be mindful of your time. If you’re the project manager, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the details. In the article on, Rampton suggests delegating tasks when appropriate, prioritizing tasks and getting comfortable saying “no.”

6) Celebrate victories and milestones. Don’t wait until the project is wrapped up to celebrate. Keep the momentum going and the project participants engaged by recognizing a job well done or a key deliverable or goal being reached. Think of a fun visual way to display your project’s progress in a common area, or find a memorable way to celebrate “hand-off” moments (pass a real baton!).

For more on project management, check out the new Project Management toolkit in CUPA-HR’s Knowledge Center.