Project management, once a discipline in and of itself, is now a task shared by various teams across your firm. For instance, managing a complex marketing project such as a new marketing campaign, a website redesign, or a product launch requires project management. Yet, you need to assign an individual from the marketing team as the project manager and that individual needs specialized training, in addition to their knowledge of marketing.
Project managers are responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing projects from inception to completion. They’re usually the first point of contact should any issue arise in a project, and they manage relationships with the people working on a particular project. For project managers to be effective, they should possess and work to improve their skills, including leadership, communication, problem-solving, delegation, team-building, integrity, and competence.
A good project manager is an excellent motivator, coach, and planner. They should understand company goals, project deadlines, effective time management, and master tools used to manage and coordinate complex projects with the rest of the team. You can use free tools such as Trello or paid tools that make project management much easier.
Below, we discuss eight tips for becoming a great project manager.
1. Obtain project management certification
While you might have experience overseeing complex projects, obtaining certification is essential because it validates your skills, knowledge, and expertise. Obtaining certification in project management by a globally recognized institution such as the Institute of Project Management allows you to build on your skills and demonstrate proficiency to your employer or future ones. This global certification can open employment doors for you while helping you grow your professional network.
Acquiring project management certification codifies your professional skills, experience, and knowledge, boosting your career as a project manager. It establishes your skill development commitment, showing employers, clients, and managers that you’re committed to becoming the best project professional.
2. Practice agile project management
Agile project management concentrates on team collaboration more than hierarchical leadership. It aims to embrace continuous improvement and flexibility, improving the end product. In agile environments, project managers’ roles are usually less defined. They can become key facilitators, change management experts, strategic coaches, and trainers.
In an agile environment, a project manager should possess outstanding organizational skills, the ability to succeed and stay calm under pressure, exceptional communication skills, be comfortable with fast-changing priorities, and a high flexibility and adaptability level.
3. Don’t micromanage your team members
As a project manager, you must ensure that the project completes successfully, within budget, and on time. Controlling your team members and keeping an eye on everything they do negatively impacts them and the project they’re working on. This makes them feel pressured and belittles their contribution to the project, hurting their performance and hindering productivity.
Micromanaging your staff affects their morale and might leave them disengaged or frustrated due to a lack of job autonomy. This may increase your team’s turnover rates and conflicts between you and your team members. Team members’ micromanagement limits their passion and creativity. Nonetheless, you can micromanage your team only when in a crisis or if you determine that they need a push.
4. Set reasonable goals and priorities
Your project’s success depends on defining your course of action and proper goal setting. If you don’t understand what’s essential for your business, your motivational goals might be weak. Consider learning how to set appropriate goals according to your project expectations and achieve them within the set deadlines. Start by identifying your priorities and how critical it is to meet them. When setting project management goals, use the SMART technique to lay specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals that you can achieve on time.
They should be short, simple, and cover the stakeholders’ expectations. Upon setting your goals and objectives, sharing them with your team members ensures they’re successfully achieved. Establish a plan of action and define the tasks with the highest priority to ensure they’re completed on schedule. Track the highest-priority activities and their daily progress to ensure your project’s success. Measure the project’s progress regularly to ensure you’re on the right track.
5. Ensure proper, regular communication
Proper, regular communication is essential for each project’s success. It involves sharing opinions and ideas between people working on the same project. The communication can be verbal or written, including meetings, email, phone calls, discussion boards, surveys, presentations, memos, and project plans. It allows projects to run smoothly and on schedule.
Timely, regular communication aligns your team with the project goals to help them understand what is expected of them. It also establishes trust to ensure all the team members work in harmony throughout the entire project. For effective project management communication, start conversing in the project’s initial planning stage, establish a primary communication method, share the project goals, listen to the team, keep everybody updated and track employee performance.
6. Embrace effective task delegation
Effective task delegation involves identifying individual strengths, preferences, and weaknesses to pick the team member best suited for the job. Task delegation builds trust, improves collaboration, opens communication, empowers your team, and promotes professional development. It helps you, the project manager, to determine who’s best suited to handle specific projects.
Give accurate instructions and provide the necessary training and resources. Delegate responsibility for things you aren’t fully empowered to decide on to ensure work doesn’t stall. Assess the delegated work to ensure it meets all the requirements and give feedback congratulating the team for a job well done or pointing out areas of improvement.
7. Ensure effective time management
Time management is an essential aspect of project management. It lets you break down your project, assign duties, and finish it on time. To ensure adequate time management, establish time management processes, use proper tools, and apply best practices, including creating task risks, prioritizing, avoiding distractions, delegating, and identifying bottlenecks.
8. Consider learning from better-performing managers
Learning from better-performing project managers involves utilizing your network, including those from other departments. Ask them about their successes and failures and the various techniques, tricks, and approaches they use to manage their projects. This helps you improve your skills for better project management.
A good project manager has multiple skills to ensure projects are completed within the expected timelines and resources. Consider applying these tips to become a great project manager.
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