Project management – 7 key steps for success

How to deliver a successful project

Project management can be a difficult job but by following a few key principles you can ensure that your project stays on track.

The role of project manager can be a difficult one. With so many elements to manage, it’s all too easy to take your eye off the ball, which in turn can adversely affect the project outcome.

However, there are some key principles you can follow that will help your project to stay on track and deliver results.

Understand the requirements

In order to deliver a successful project you first need to fully understand exactly what the requirements are. It’s important to create a detailed project brief that sets out the scope and objectives of the project, key deliverables and milestones, and what budget and resources are required. Agreeing these elements with the client from the beginning will help you to plan effectively and avoid any unwelcome surprises.

Create a detailed plan

Planning is key to effective project management and having a clear brief will enable you to develop a detailed plan for the project delivery. A good plan should cover all bases, and encouraging your team to participate in the planning process will help you to do this. It’s also worth remembering that project management can be unpredictable and things are likely to change as the project progresses. So, while your plan needs to be detailed, it also needs to be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

Choose the right team

A project is only as good as the team behind it, and ensuring you have the right mix of people working on your project is a crucial element of project management. For best results, choose team members whose skills and abilities are a good match for the project requirements – and try to keep the team to a manageable size. Smaller, more agile teams tend to get better results and experts recommend working with a team of no more than ten people.

Allocate roles and responsibilities

With your team in place it’s time to start allocating roles and responsibilities. Everyone has a specific role to play in the delivery of the project and, as project manager, it is your job to make sure each team member understands their role and how it contributes to the overall project. At the same time, be sure to give your team some space – avoid micromanaging and give them the trust and confidence they need to produce their best work.

Clear communication

Project failure can often be attributed to poor communication, so maintaining clear lines of communication with your team, clients and other stakeholders is vital for a successful outcome. Make time to hold regular catch-up meetings where you can discuss the status of the project, check progress against key milestones, raise any potential issues, and brainstorm possible solutions. Try to avoid getting bogged down in too much detail and instead concentrate on communicating the most relevant and most urgent information.

Use the right tools

The good news about project management is that you haven’t got to do it all alone. There are lots of tools out there, such as resource management software and workflow automation programmes, that are specifically designed to make project management more efficient and effective, so don’t be afraid to harness this technology to make your life easier and improve your project management practices.

Be agile

In today’s dynamic business environment, some traditional project management methodologies can seem inflexible and overly-bureaucratic. As we’ve already mentioned, project management can be unpredictable, so you need to be agile enough to roll with the punches and quickly deal with any issues that arise. By working flexibly and responsively you’ll be perfectly placed to deliver a great result for your client.

The best advice we can give in regards to project management is to always be prepared. With the right planning, the right attitude and the right team behind you, you’ll be well on track to manage a successful project that delivers on its objectives.

How To Shoot Great Wildlife Photography

Sitting Back and Waiting for the Action To Unfold

Preparation, planning and patience are all key in wildlife photography.  

Wildlife photography is a beautiful pursuit for those who love to connect with nature. However, animals don’t always make the most willing of subjects, so patience is just one of the skills you’ll need to have in your bag when you decide to take wildlife shots. This guide will help you understand how to create quality wildlife pics that are a class above some of the stock images you might find online.

Connecting With Your Subject

Your first task as a photographer is to choose what you’re going to be shooting. This may be as adventurous as a herd of buffalo on the Serengeti, or the ducks at your local fish pond. Although these subjects may seem very different, the trick to taking stunning pictures of them is the same and it all comes down to knowing your subject well.

As your subjects are unlikely to pose for you, and may even be nervous of your presence, you’ll need to be prepared to stay with them, or hang out discreetly nearby for several hours at a time, learning their habits and how to connect with them. By understanding them, you’ll have a better chance of capturing the perfect moment when they do something interesting, but you’ll also be able to anticipate their actions in advance. Eye contact between your subject and the camera is hard to achieve but if captured, this can produce a stunning image.

Knowing Your Kit

You might be waiting around for several hours and only get twenty seconds of action from your wildlife, so when the moment strikes it’s essential that you’re ready. This is where knowing your kit inside out is vital. Make sure that you’re aware of where all the buttons and gadgets are on your choice of camera and that you can do everything quickly, with minimal effort. You won’t want to be adjusting your tripod or changing lenses in the middle of all the action.

Understand the Light

Wildlife photographers don’t have the luxury of sitting in a studio and manipulating the light, so you need to be prepared to get up early and work with nature. Usually getting up and out before sunrise is a good idea depending on the country that you’re shooting in, so that you can take plenty of pictures in the morning before the strongest light shines from midday until late afternoon. If it’s too sunny then this may disrupt the light in your shots, although polarising filters can help somewhat.

Lens Choices

Generally speaking, wildlife photography requires you to use a camera with an excellent telephoto lens, but this often depends on the subject. For animals or birds you’ll be capturing from a distance, this is absolutely essential so it’s important to invest in the highest quality camera and lens combo you can afford. But quality cameras don’t always come cheap, so if money is an issue for you, then you could always raise some extra funds if you have an old Nikon camera lying around for example. Simply visit a specialised sell my Nikon camera platform, or any other top camera brand, and you’ll receive a quote for your equipment. Once approved, you’ll receive a bank deposit on the same day which you can put towards a fantastic new camera with a top telephoto lens.

Wildlife photography is all about preparation, planning and patience. Plan what kit you’re going to take with you, be prepared to get to know your subject intimately, and be patient waiting for the action to unfold!

When timeshares go wrong – and what you can do about it

Common problems with timeshare contracts

Owning a timeshare can seem like a dream but the industry is plagued by a number of issues that can turn that dream into a nightmare.

Buying a timeshare can sound like a dream come true. You get your own little piece of paradise and a guaranteed holiday every year – what could possibly go wrong?

Well, quite a lot as it happens.

The industry is plagued by a number of issues and, after succumbing to the industry’s infamous hard-sell tactics, timeshare owners all too often find themselves trapped in costly and restrictive contracts that fail to live up to their expectations.

Unfair contracts

After the excitement of purchasing a timeshare, many owners find that they are tied in to lengthy and unfair contracts. A large number of timeshares comes with ‘in perpetuity’ contracts which tie owners to their timeshare for 50 years or more, and even for life in some instances. And given that timeshares can be difficult to sell-on, in years to come you could find yourself saddled with a property that you no longer want or use.

Hidden charges

As a timeshare owner, you expect to pay out for routine maintenance costs, tax and utilities, but what you may not realise is that timeshare contracts often contain other hidden charges. These include costs such as ‘special assessment fees’ which are used to cover property upgrades, repairs, and anything else the resort management decides is necessary. And even those routine costs we mentioned are subject to significant increases, potentially rising by as much as 12% each year!

Restricted bookings

When it comes to actually using their property, many timeshare owners experience booking difficulties. A ‘fixed week’ contract allocates you a set time period at the property each year, and if that time period is not suitable, you will either have to rent it out or consider it a loss for that year. A ‘floating week’ contract, which enable owners to choose a week within a set timeframe, appear to offer more flexibility but, in reality, the more popular dates get booked up incredibly quickly, leaving many timeshare owners disappointed. The upshot is that many owners pay a lot of money for a property that they’re unable to get full use out of.

Timeshare compensation

Buying a timeshare is a big investment and it can be hugely upsetting and frustrating when things don’t go according to plan. However, there is something you can do to remedy it.

If you’ve experienced any of the scenarios we’ve mentioned above, you could be eligible for timeshare compensation, and a growing number of dissatisfied timeshare owners are using this as a route to escape their timeshare contract and recoup lost money. Pursuing a timeshare compensation claim can be a costly and complex process, so it’s important to have all your paperwork in order before you start the ball rolling. There are also a lot of unscrupulous scammers out there who are only too happy to prey on unhappy timeshare owners, so be extra wary of any cold callers offering assistance.

If you’re considering a compensation claim, we would always recommend speaking to specialist timeshare lawyers. A legal professional with expertise in this area will be able to assess the validity of your claim, provide impartial advice, and guide you through the claims process to help you get a positive outcome.

Make 2020 The Year You Say Goodbye to Your Tattoo

Everything You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

As 2019 draws to a close, start laser tattoo removal now for the best chance of being ink-free in 2020.

Do you have an unwanted tattoo that you would love to get rid of? Then why not make an early New Year’s resolution and look into saying goodbye to it for good? Here’s where to find the best tattoo removal London has to offer, and how to get the most out of your sessions.

Find a great tattoo removal company

The first thing you need to do is to find a great tattoo removal practitioner. Tattoo Removal Experts are regarded by many as offering the best laser tattoo removal treatment the capital has to offer – and it’s easy to see why. Operating from a clean, pleasant premises that boasts some of the latest tattoo removal technology, they’re ready to get started on tattoos of all colours, sizes and complexities. You’ll be in safe hands with them – and they’ll be on hand to give you all the information that you need and to answer all of your questions.

Start sooner rather than later

If you want to say goodbye to your tattoo by next year, then you will need to start now. A lot of people think that a tattoo can be removed in one session, but that’s just a dream for now! The reality is that you will need a number of sessions. How many depends on a variety of factors, and your tattoo removal expert will discuss those with you at your appointment. You’ll need a number of sessions as while the laser is very powerful, sessions need to be a certain length and spaced apart in order for protect your skin and allow it to heal.

Take care of yourself

If you’re hoping to say goodbye to your tattoo in the coming months, then you need to make sure that you listen to advice. After a session, you may find that your skin is sore and blistered. That’s nothing to worry about, as it’s just your body’s reaction to the laser. Some people say it’s like sunburn, and they’re not too far off. You need to make sure that you don’t pick at any scabs and treat your skin gently as it heals. This will not only minimise scarring, but will ensure that you can stay on track with your scheduled sessions.

Keep an open mind

Last but not least, be patient as you go into 2020. Laser tattoo removal has been refined over the years and is very reliable, but just like with any other cosmetic procedure, things can change during the course of your treatment. Your tattoo may not be as responsive to the laser as everyone expected, or your skin may react in a way that you weren’t anticipating. If a curveball comes your way, relax. You’ll be in the safest possible hands, and you’ll be able to come to a solution that works for you.

What are you waiting for? Now that you know what to expect, why not look into laser tattoo removal today? Tattoo Removal Experts are on hand to give you all the support and advice that you need going forward, and will be able to get your journey to a tattoo-free future started today!