Every year, your church will complete countless projects.
From preparing for Easter service, updating your website, or organizing meals for a sick member of your church, you will start and finish hundreds of projects throughout the year.
For many church leaders, we’ve discovered that managing projects is the last thing on your mind. Many of you reading this blog post didn’t receive project management training in school or elsewhere, so thinking about overseeing one more project is the last thing you want to do.
To help you complete your next project, here are five steps you’ll need to take.
#1. Clarify the goal
What project do you need to manage?
Are you in the process of renovating your church building? Do you need to add an additional worship service? Are you raising funds for a new campaign?
Regardless of the project you are managing; you must clarify your goal and determine what date the project begins and when it needs to end. Establishing these boundaries upfront will help you move the project along from the beginning to the end.
#2. Make a plan
After you clarify your objective, you will need to take some time to figure out what tasks need to be accomplished, what you will need to accomplish the work, and who is responsible for fulfilling the objectives.
Here are questions you can ask to help you develop your plan:
- What tasks need to be completed?
- How long will it take to reasonably complete the individual tasks? When do they need to be completed?
- What assignments are contingent upon the completion of other tasks?
- Who is responsible for completing the task?
- How much money do you need to budget?
- What is the approval process? Who needs to be involved in making decisions?
- What information do you need to collect? Who do you need to talk to in the church?
Making a plan is the most grueling part of managing your project. But it’s also the most important. If you fail to plan, then plan on failing. It’s that simple.
#3. Monitor progress
You will need a way to monitor the progress of your project. Not only do you need to keep an eye on what you’re working on. But you’ll need a way to track the progress of the different tasks and people you’re managing.
To help you monitor your progress, there are many online tools you can use, such as Google Docs, Basecamp, or Asana. There are more robust project management tools you can consider. But these, along with several other options, will most likely provide you and your church with everything you need.
#4. Frequently communicate
A lack of communication can quickly derail any project. That’s why you must prepare yourself and your team to communicate with each other throughout the process regularly. Keeping your team informed will ensure the success of your project.
Depending on the project and the deadlines you’re managing will determine how frequently you should communicate. At a minimum, consider implementing a weekly review to go over the progress your team is making, what roadblocks your team is facing, and if anyone has any questions.
#5. Celebrate completing your project
We understand that the life of your church keeps marching forward and that it’s easy to move on to your next project. Fight the temptation of busyness and make plans to celebrate completing your project.
Go out to lunch. Bring food into your office. Share testimonies. Whatever you do, celebrate completing your project together as a team.