Many people start out in their careers as a project manager. Yet, in many cases, it takes time to earn the trust and responsibility that comes with the position. If youve been given the title of Project Manager (PM), congratulations! Youve earned it. If you havent been given the responsibility yet, theres a good chance you will be at some point if you want to advance in your career.
- Know the project inside out. …
- Identify the project requirements. …
- Get a qualified project manager. …
- Define critical milestones. …
- Communication is the key. …
- Tap into team members strengths and weaknesses. …
- Use a Project management tool. …
- Manage potential risks.
Project Management Tips – How to be a Great Project Manager
When to seek project management advice
You can typically seek project management advice during any stage of your career. Most project managers starting out might rely on mentors or more experienced professionals for guidance, tips and support on how to improve their roles. Since these professionals are typically in charge of all aspects of a project, including its scope, tasks, budget and timeline, they may overcome various obstacles throughout their workday. They may seek the advice from others on how to approach these challenges to develop innovative solutions, allowing them to submit a quality project on time and within budget.
11 tips for project management professionals
Use these tips to perform successfully as a project manager:
1. Be open to change
There may be moments when a supervisor or client decides to change the requirements or specifications of a project. Its important to remain calm, professional and flexible when this occurs to ensure you still complete the task on time. Try to create a schedule that accounts for any unexpected occurrences that could appear throughout the day. This makes it easier to adjust your schedule accordingly to better fit your priorities and ensure you reach all deadlines on time.
2. Seek guidance from a mentor
If youre starting out in your project management career, consider finding a mentor to offer you guidance and support throughout your career. Try to reach out to a professional well-established in your industry or field. This can be a previous professor, current supervisor or past manager. They can teach you different project management methods to help you accomplish milestones more easily or offer advice when youre unsure of how to solve a complex problem. Mentors can typically offer you the encouragement and support needed to grow and develop in your career.
3. Work closely with clients
Try to establish strong ongoing relationships with customers by building their trust. You can do this by setting regular meetings to set goals and action plans for reaching these milestones. Identify their goals as both individuals and as an organization as a whole by closely reviewing and discussing their mission and vision statement. You can then build strategies that revolve around these long-term objectives. Understand their preferred communication method, such as phone calls, emails or messaging platforms, and use these to send regular updates on the projects status to remain transparent at all times.
4. Research project management tools
Project management tools are software systems you can use to organize your tasks and check the progress of each assignment. Try to conduct research on different tools to find ones that work effectively for yourself and your team. You can use these tools to feature the projects timeline, tasks and employees assigned to each item. Consider spending time to teach yourself and other team members how to use this tool to ensure you use it correctly and productively.
5. Communicate effectively with team members
Try to remain transparent with other employees completing the projects tasks. Set an initial project meeting to clearly relay the purpose and goals of the project. You can then assign items to various team members according to their expertise and interests. This gives them the opportunity to ask questions about the project and discuss any comments or concerns regarding completing it on time. Try to maintain this communication through the projects life cycle by holding regular check-in meetings and asking for updates on their progress.
6. Use problem-solving and critical thinking skills
There might be several moments in your role where an obstacle may arise unexpectedly that requires you to provide an effective solution to overcome it. Take time to develop your problem-solving and critical thinking skills to create strategies that resolve certain challenges and prevent new ones from occurring. You can do this by asking others for guidance or learning from past situations and using these experiences to develop proactive plans that keep these previous problems from happening again.
7. Collaborate well with employees
Take time to get to know the strengths and abilities of the team you regularly work with on projects. Try to listen to any comments or concerns they may have regarding certain tasks and use this information to assign them tasks that they enjoy and strengthen their skill sets. You can also offer them resources to improve their capabilities and knowledge. By listening and collaborating well with other employees, you can work more productively as a team to submit high-quality tasks to clients.
8. Set clear, measurable and accurate goals
Before starting on a project, establish and communicate its purpose and goals to team members. This gives yourself and employees something to work toward and makes the effort you provide to the project feel meaningful. Clearly communicate what you or the client would like to accomplish. You can then make your goals measurable and accurate by sharing the specific milestones to reach by certain deadlines. This helps you better understand if youre making strong progress toward delivering an exemplary project on time to the client.
9. Block out time to focus
Since many tasks may appear unexpectedly throughout your workday, try to block out time to focus directly on specific tasks. Make this time clear to other employees by scheduling an hour to dedicate toward a work item and labeling it as your focus hour on your public calendar. This tells team members that youre currently busy and encourages them to approach you at a later time with any questions or comments they might have for you. Continue to minimize distractions during this time by turning off notifications and putting your phone away while you work.
10. Outsource tasks when needed
If you have several tasks with approaching deadlines, consider outsourcing these items to other employees, if possible. Review your upcoming tasks and determine which are smaller or simpler items that another individual can handle for you. Evaluate the abilities of current team members to determine who is better suited to complete these tasks. Ensure they have enough time available in their schedule to complete these tasks before asking them to handle them for you. Try to provide plenty of instructions on how to conduct these items to ensure they finish them correctly and productively.
11. Build a weekly schedule to follow
You can increase your chances of meeting deadlines and deliverables if you build a to-do list and schedule each work item. Consider using a task-management system, online calendar or a daily planner to plan all your tasks each week. Determine which tasks to prioritize for the week and schedule plenty of time to work on them. Try to ensure your schedule is flexible by providing yourself with enough time to finish all items in case one takes longer than expected or an unexpected task appears that causes you to shift your schedule or priorities accordingly.
How can I get better at project management?
- Set goals & priorities for the projects(s)
- Write everything down.
- Use a consistent estimating & scoping process.
- Use helpful/supplemental PM tools.
- Delegate properly.
- Ensure everyone is in agreement with the plan.
- Be realistic & honest.
- Be as detailed & organized as possible.
What are the 5 major processes of project management?
What are three keys to a successful project management?
What are the 5 skills areas every project manager should master?
- Effective Communication. From project kick-offs to stakeholder meetings, project managers are constantly communicating. …
- Negotiation. …
- Scheduling and Time Management. …
- Leadership. …
- Technical Expertise. …
- Risk Management. …
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.