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Think Project Management is boring? Here’s how it doesn’t have to be

The role of a project manager is no less than critical for any industry and for any organization – big or small.

Some of the traits this role requires in depth insight to technicalities, team building and management skills, discipline and effective time management.

Although many responsibilities fall under the umbrella of project management, the project manager is chiefly responsible for two things: to get a quality product delivered on time and to keep the team in sync while working towards success. While this role juggles between technical requirements to provide the customer with a satisfactory result, it has to deal with the human aspect by steering the team clear of politics, bias and uncertainty towards integrity, collaboration and confidence.

To many, this role may embody a serious persona that embodies an “all work, no play” attitude –eyes set on optimising the project at hand with little or no time for anything else. However, project management does not have to be dry and stressful. There are many ways to make work fun, interesting and create a surrounding where teams look forward to coming every day.

Here are three ways you can enjoy being a project manager without compromising on quality of project and efficiency of your team. Let’s begin.

Give autonomy to your team

Autonomy means the space and discretion to carry out a responsibility. By giving your team the freedom to complete activities on their own, you can instil a sense of ownership and encourage innovation. This will not only help you in getting better work performance on the project but teams also show innovative ways of achieving goals faster without the need to micromanage them.

According to Joan F. Cheverie, manager of professional development programs at the higher education and IT non-profit EDUCAUSE, autonomy is the antithesis of micromanagement and it may be the best way to ensure your employees are happy at work. [2]

A 2013 Workplace Survey by Harvard Business Review shows that the choice and autonomy not only keep employees happy, but also motivate and boost performance. They are also more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. [3]

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Make it cooler with technology

Who doesn’t like cool apps and gadgets? It’s downright delighting when a new app helps you identify pending issues in a project in half the time or that gives you the power to manage multiple teams without going back and forth between software tools.

Did you know that a survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit finds that employees that believe their workplace effectively makes use of mobile technology have more satisfaction, creativity well as show more productivity at work.

As a project manager, you constantly have to identify issues and come up with possible solutions or better yet, identify risks beforehand and have back up plans devised. Using a tool to structure your tasks and projects, helping your team collaborate better and that can give you more control on your project timeline can save you a lot of time and money. It definitely takes the stress out and lets you enjoy the creative aspects of the project taking care of the monotonous and repetitive activities.

Get more involved

Although project management comprises managing projects and teams, however, as a project manager, you can feel more connected by actively getting involved in team tasks and activities. This does not mean you have to micromanage your team. However, you can do a lot more by working on small tasks with your team such as attending the daily scrum, holding informative sessions on how to present projects better or simply by testing out the software module yourself via the newly purchased QA tool with the rest of the team.

Would you believe that about one in three projects fail because of a lack of involvement from senior management?

Divan Dave is the CEO of OmniMD, a leading healthcare IT company. According to Dave, a good project manager stays aware and alert about potential problems. He recommends that a project manager should hold frequent status meetings with team members. This ensures that the tasks and objectives are met on time, the issues that are being faced and ways to solve them and also, discuss if any of the activities in the project plan needs to be revisited.

Your involvement in the project’s workflow on different levels diminishes the chances of feeling disconnected and you can look forward to new accomplishments in each team. These little achievements can help you go a long way and the collaboration with your team can help keep things light and stress free.

Use Colours!

You don’t have to settle for dry and monotonous documentation and presentations. Instead, give your workplace a boost of energy with vibrant colours. From your user stories to presentations in the meeting room, give it a fizz of creativity.

Use coloured markers, post-its, stickers and props to design and plan a project. Colour code tasks by priority.

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