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2. Stay on course
Having project-management tools and guidelines helps you stay on top of your projects and deals. Before leaving your office, be sure you have people who can handle things during your absence.
If your team members start on the same page with techniques and rules already in place, they will have a much better shot at success.
Every project should include:
A project agreement (e.g., scope, boundaries, risk tolerance and constraints);
A project plan (e.g., schedules, budgets, milestones, risk management and change management);
A team communication plan (e.g., status reports, approval process and e-mail distribution); and
Lessons-learned records (e.g., what worked and did not work with the project so you can increase your chance of success on future projects).
3. Read the room
Understanding the sentiments in the room allows you to address and resolve any issues arising between departments or individuals, even when you're not there. Cutting to the chase and repairing communication breakdowns immediately will let a deal continue.
You can do this virtually through applications like instant messaging. Emoticons and quick, unedited responses can communicate volumes -- though sometimes giving false impressions -- and also signal when you should pick up that old-fashioned technology: the phone.
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No matter where you operate from, making yourself easily reachable for your clients and for your co-workers and staff can ensure your success. You can use technology to your advantage to keep tight communication. In addition, to keep things running smoothly, setting up guidelines will empower your team to help your clients in your absence.
Ultimately, by staying connected and available, you'll likely close more deals and see many favorable outcomes just by being accessible.
is the founder of Cheetah Learning and author of Cheetah Negotiations and Cheetah Project Management. She has been running Cheetah Learning and managing 100 employees, contractors and licensees worldwide for the past 20 years. Her monthly column "Know How Network" is carried by more than 400 publications, and her weekly radio program, "Your World Your Way," looks at how project management fuels success. Learn more at www.cheetahlearning.com. E-mail LaBrosse at email@example.com.
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