Conducting a project in English can seem daunting at first, especially as it means managing in a foreign language. For the project to run smoothly, the scope of work should be clearly stated and defined, right from the very beginning. The project should therefore be well organised, whatever language you are working in.
There are some key words and phrases that can make life a little easier when the working language is English. Here are some examples:
Network diagram: a visual representation of the responsibilities, tasks and workflow of the project in question.
To meet the deadline: to finish something at or before the time (or date) it should be finished.
To miss the deadline: to finish late.
To schedule the kick-off meeting: to organise the first meeting between the project team and the client.
The project schedule: a calendar, a timetable of the different phases of the project.
WBS (Work Breakdown Structure): the architecture of the project detailing the larger and smaller tasks to reach the project’s goals.
Let’s move on now to think about…
Managing a project requires expert communication skills to ensure that all your collaborators understand exactly what’s expected of them. And to communicate effectively, you’ll need the right vocabulary. Here’s a short list of basic words and terms that could be useful for managing a project in English:
scope - extent
input - ideas, knowledge
to integrate - to include
to come up with - to find or produce an answer
the floor is yours - you are given the right to speak
adjustments - small changes
completed - finished
showcasing - presenting
to cope - to manage, to handle, to put up with
stalled - to be on standby
to allocate - to distribute
to assess - to measure
to drop the ball - to fall, to abandon
keep the fire on - keep doing what you’re doing
It is also crucial to delegate and get help for the project, there is often too much for one person to do! A project usually involves several people from several departments.
Here are some more example phrases:
Can you send me a status report?: A request for a report containing the progress of the project and where it is currently at.
Due date: the deadline.
The project manager: the person in charge of the project.
The task is due at the end of the month: the deadline for the task is the last day of this month.
To assign someone a task: to give somebody a specific job to do on the project.
To take over: to replace another person on a task.
Did you know that planning to fail is failing to plan? Well it’s true for most things, including your work projects. Before embarking on any project large or small, it’s important to take the time to think about the project as a whole from start to finish. If you’re organizing a project for the first time, try using our five stages below as a guide.
Step #1 Conception
Before starting work on your project, the very first thing you should do is hammer out the essentials of what it is intended to achieve, and what it will involve. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
What is the end goal?
Who should be involved?
What are the deliverables?
Is there a deadline?
Are there various stages and deadlines?
Step #2 Planning
Once you’ve understood the basics, you can start planning how you’ll accomplish your project. This is when you need to start considering details such as:
Who, what, where, when, and why
How will you measure the success of the project?
Is there a hierarchy in the importance of your goals?
Define the timeframe
An important part of planning also includes diving the work into stages and delegating different aspects of the project to different collaborators, all while communicating your findings from the conception and planning stage of your project organization.
Step #3 Execution
This is the stage of the project when you actually carry out the work. You and your collaborators should be actively working on your various parts of the project at this stage, with regular progress reports and check-in meetings to make sure everyone stays on the same page with regards to objectives and deadlines.
Step #4 Monitoring
As the project matures and reaches completion, you’ll need to start looking back at the objectives outlined in the conception stage. Are you still on track to meet them? Is the project still evolving with the defined constraints (time, budget, etc.)? Do you need to incorporate or communicate any significant deviations from the plan? To monitor the evolution of the project, you’ll need to set up systems to track quality, cost, and time performance, depending on the type of project you’re organizing.
Step #5 Close
Once the project has been completed, you can breathe easy. But, there’s still one final step to complete before you can put it to bed. The closing stage is about reflecting on the success of your project, identifying things that were done well and things that could be improved for next time. If there are any loose ends, this is the time to tie them up. And of course, it’s also the opportunity to thank your collaborators.
When it comes to presenting your project to your colleagues and collaborators, you’ll need to have confidence in your oral communication skills first of all. Speaking effectively in a foreign language requires a strong foundation in grammar and vocabulary, as well as clear pronunciation and an engaging speaking style.
Here are some of our top tips for presenting a project when it comes to content:
Be clear on your main message
Be ruthless: cut out the detail to fit the time limit
Define a clear structure with an introduction, main points, and a conclusion
Use linking words to guide your audience through the presentation
Don’t forget the details: do you need a projector; have you printed the handouts?
Knowing how to organize and present a project in English is a useful skill for any job in the international sphere, but there are four key sectors where you’ll need to take the time to perfect it. Let’s take a look at them.
Jobs in the construction industry (including infrastructure and architecture) revolve around project work. Every contract that keeps a company in this industry afloat represents a project, for which reason the role of Project Manager is common in this field. Construction projects require collaboration between colleagues across the industry, from designers and architects to suppliers and construction workers.
An important aspect of organizing projects in the construction industry is mitigating risks and delays, particularly due to the wide scale of the projects and the number of moving parts. It will also be essential to indicate how you plan to stick to budget.
If you’re considering the manufacturing industry, we can tell you that project planning and management will be crucial to your success. Work in this field often happens with the joint collaboration of clients and manufacturing companies, which requires a well-defined project with clear deadlines and limits. Organizing projects in manufacturing requires a good handle on the production process and an eye for eliminating risks and ensuring health and safety at every stage.
As with any large scale project, you’ll need to be able to oversee a big budget and know how to distribute your funds to overcome issues that arise along the way.
Finance and insurance
To organize a project in this industry, it’s essential to adopt a flexible project management style. The finance and insurance fields are often subject to quick and unforeseen changes, meaning that projects in the work must be able to ride the storm and adapt accordingly.
Another key aspect of organizing projects in this industry is being open to scrutiny and remaining accountable. As an industry where you’re often handling other people’s money, you’ll need to know your project in intimate detail and be able to answer difficult questions from investors at the drop of a hat.
English is more and more in demand, and used, as an international language in many areas of international business. 50% of companies look for foreign language skills in applicants. Since GlobalExam was first created, we have helped well over half a million people train for exams in, but not just, English, as well as allowing people to learn English online, whatever your English project.
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Practicing oral comprehension and expression
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If learning to manage projects in English is your objective, why not book yourself an individual lesson with one of our online teachers and spend half an hour perfecting your approach?