Part One. Questions 1 to 12 You will hear a speaker giving a group of managers advice on how to run a project.
As you listen, for questions 1 to 12, complete the notes, using up to three words or a number.
After you have listened once, replay the recording.
You now have 45 seconds to read through the notes.
Now listen, and complete the notes.
Woman: Um, OK, er, can I have your attention, please? Thanks. Now, er, people ask me ‘how do I know if a project is good and, if so, how do I then keep it on track?’ Well, there are no magic formulas, but I do have a few tips for choosing and managing projects that I’d like to share with you today.
First of all, choose carefully! Your project needs to be large enough to be worthwhile and one in which your basic skills will enable you to succeed. This means sifting through proposals very carefully, and so it’s essential that you allocate enough hours to the selection process. When you’ve done that, you need to work out how long the project will take. It’s pretty tough to maintain a project’s freshness and flexibility, so you don’t want it running on too long - therefore, you need to set a sensible, manageable timescale.
When you start, you need to think about how your project will be better than the last one, and this means you should constantly keep the customer’s circumstances in mind and think about what they want. Employees will be enthusiastic about the project if you emphasise how important it is. So you should aim to convince them of how crucial teamwork is, and if you can do that, you’re more likely to get the best results. Also, good managers have a constantly updated picture of the project performance, and to achieve this, you need to be efficient at record-keeping.
As the project gets going, you should always keep
employees informed and involved in what’s going on, so that they understand any constraints. At the same time, this will help them to appreciate the progress being made. And try meeting across boundaries. In well-managed projects, you’ll find that any meetings that are held are not exclusive to the project workers, but include people from different disciplines who work in the same organisation. These ‘outsiders’ may come up with fresh approaches, which can speed up the whole project.
Now, encountering problems is almost inevitable; you need to recognise that and deal with them. To do this successfully, you need to share information about anything which is not going well. This will allow you to make decisions quickly and minimise any big changes. These may come as a result of the customer altering their requirements. It’s vital to be able to adjust to these developments, so make an attempt to be as flexible as you can in your dealings with them.
The prospect of success rises when those involved are consciously trying to do better than any other businesses or even past practices within their own company, so it’s important to breed competitiveness - the more the better if you want to get the best result.
And finally, don’t forget that companies that appear to be doing well all the time owe their success, in part, to a willingness to diversify when the market moves or alters, or as they recognise where they can make a better contribution. And, when you’re contemplating a risky project, make sure you employ people who have several skills. This means they could be transferred if the original project doesn’t succeed.
Well, er, I hope that’s helped. Urn, now, if anybody has any questions...