Of course, it’s a team effort, but a leader is needed to keep everyone on the same page.
While this may seem like an overwhelming and stressful role that you may be questioning who would ever want to be in this position, the role of a project manager can be incredibly rewarding; you just need to make sure you’re doing it right.
With this in mind, today we’re going to explore the top 10 tips you need to know to become the best project manager possible and ultimately get the best results.
#1 - Get Familiar with the Details
Before you even start the project and start handing out jobs, make sure you’re taking the time to get to know the project inside and out. This means look at all the details of what needs to be completed, how long it needs to take and what kind of budget you have to work with.
If you have any questions, you need to make sure you’re asking them, so you’re completely clear with everything you need to do. If you get something wrong at the beginning, this could cause huge problems further down the line.
#2 - Consider Your Resources
To get the project completed, you’re going to need to use resources whether this comes in the form of a budget, staff, team members and equipment. Before you start, take inventory to get familiar with what you have access to and then plan how you’re going to use it all.
This is especially important when it comes to your team members. Look at what individual and specialist skills you have and make sure you’re aware of everything so you can make the best decisions.
#3 - Be a Leader
This point may seem obvious, but it’s vital that you maintain a leadership attitude from the start to the finish of your project. Everybody will be looking at you for guidance and for leadership, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, faith and morale is going to decline, and the risk of failure will steadily increase.
#4 - Set Up Key Milestones
It’s incredibly difficult to successfully start at the beginning of the project and go through to the end in one go. In fact, it’s near impossible. Instead, it’s better to break the project up into separate milestones where you’ll be able to track your overall project process.
#5 - Optimize Communication
As the project manager, you’re going to be the central point in which all the teams, departments and other related parties will combine and connect to. This is why you need to be proactive in optimizing the communication channels to ensure everything runs smoothly.
“Effective communication will be the key to getting things right. Dedicate which channels are going to be used and how often meetings are going to take place to ensure everyone stays in the loop” explains Jason Frank, a communications manager for Australia2Write and Brit Student.
#6 - Implement Project Management Tools
Thanks to the advancements of modern-day technology, there now exists a full range of tools and software applications that are designed to help you take control of your project and make all aspects of it easy to manage. It’s well worth doing your research to see if there’s a solution out there to suit you.
#7 - Be Open to Change
Just because you’re the leader, that doesn’t always mean that you know the best way to do something which is why it’s so important to be open to new ideas and change. If something is going wrong or a problem that comes up that needs to be addressed, this may mean you need to change your entire plan. Be open to it.
#8 - Be a Good Listener
Hand in hand with the point above, at the end of the day, you’re working as a team, so make sure you’re listening to your team for information that can help you all succeed. Just because you’re the leader, that doesn’t mean you know everything.
#9 - There Are No Problems
“Only solutions. When a problem inevitably arises, it’s important to make sure you don’t get stressed out and overreact. It is what it is, and that’s it; you just need to find a way to move forward. It’s completely unproductive to waste time and energy on freaking out” explains Mary Taylor, a project manager for WriteMYX and 1Day2Write.
#10 - Evaluate How the Project Went
Just because the project’s over, that doesn’t mean your job is done. When everything is done and dusted, it’s vital that you take the time to evaluate all aspects of your project to see what went well and what could be improved.
This is so important because without evaluating you won’t be able to see what you can do better next time or where you can personally improve. There are always improvements to be made.