10 Must Have to be a Successful Project Manager
Being a project manager is never easy. You have been thrown into the project’s driver seat, you are expected to lead, but deep down, you know that you’re not ready. After a short grace period, you are expected to have all the pieces in place and start to deliver. Here are 10 ways to improve your project management skills:
- Get into the details – knowledge is power, and lack of knowledge is a serious weakness. If you don’t know, you are likely to make mistakes and you’ll find it hard to handle excuses and complicated delay explanations from team members. Since you can’t ‘know’ everything on day one, focus on knowing what you need for tomorrow, or for the coming week. Spend sometime learning before asking the next question, it will place you in a better position.
- Read the damn manual – yes, exactly as you did last time you purchased a new gadget. It is amazing how much knowledge exists in company documentation or even on the public website. If you can demonstrate knowledge and history of the company to this point, your team will respect you and give you credit for the attention to detail already shown.
- Collaboration is a key – get everyone in your project team involved by sharing information and keeping everyone aligned.
- Use the right tools – Project management tools are there to assist you. Check carefully to find out which tools are currently being used and how, then start to familiarize yourself. The tools are already being used within the company workflows. By using them, you will gain a better starting point and streamline into the company workflows.
- Show Empathy – you are new to the project, but others have been tackling these issues for a long time. Never dismiss a challenge, limitation or constraint – even if it doesn’t appear to be genuine, it is an indication that something is out of synch. Understanding the issue will give you information as to the source of the problem and will create some goodwill within the team.
- Identify a good mentor – A good Mentor will not be part of the immediate team, but close enough to your activity and environment. Don’t hide the fact that you have such a mentor, in fact do just the opposite. Let it be known that you consult with others that are familiar with the project and are willing to learn as you go along.
- Use escalation wisely – Approaching someone’s manager through escalation is an easy solution to complicated situations. However, escalation is a non-renewable resource and if you use it too early or too frequently it becomes ineffective. Consider using escalation very carefully as it can also cause negative feelings within the project team.
- Look at the “Big Picture” – Team members are busy dealing with the short term, only mid-level managers are thinking longer term. When managing a project, do not focus only on the week/month tasks It is your job to see the big picture, to see the entire lifecycle of the project and address the issues before they become issues.
Above: Proggio enables you to look at your project as part of the auto generated company project portfolio management view.
- Get Involved – you may not like it, but a project manager must be able to get his hands dirty. It could be as simple as taking a box from the Lobby to the conference room or producing a report that nobody else wants too. This demonstrates your total commitment to the project and how you will do whatever it takes to get things done.
- Stay calm – Staying calm is critical! A project manager that goes into panic mode will only create more panic amongst the team.
Plan. Engage. Execute.
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- Clear presentation layer you can use for senior reporting and planning mode
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- The first project plan you’ll be able to view on your mobile device!
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