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For new project managers, managing your first project can be a daunting task. You have to develop a realistic strategy, oversee your team members, solve tactical problems, and make sure your project doesn’t veer off track. Project management professionals have to be prepared to deal with last-minute requests or changes, while sticking to the deadline.
To ensure you lead a successful project, follow these 6 tips for new project managers.
- Find a mentor – If you company doesn’t assign a mentor, find a seasoned project manager to serve as your mentor. Your mentor will share his/her knowledge and experience. And, you can learn a lot just from watching your mentor work. Observe how your mentor tackles projects and interacts with team members and shareholders.
- Utilize teamwork – As a project manager, you not only want to serve as a leader, but also you want to be an effective team player. It’s your job to make decisions in your project’s best interest, while utilizing the strengths of each individual team member.
- Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure about something, just ask. You can ask your mentor or one of your team members. By simply asking a question, you resolve a problem that has arisen within the project and avoid making a decision that sets it back.
- Understand your customer – Understand the customer and organization you are working for. Learn their goals, vision, and mission and how they want that communicated in the project.
- Adjust to change – When it comes to completing a project, change is inevitable. Most of your projects won’t go exactly as planned. They are going to continue to change as the project progresses. So, don’t get stressed when changes arise. Instead, create a change management plan which explains how a request is submitted and how you will manage it. This way, the change is documented and you’ll be able to adjust.
- Take training courses – Enroll in project management training courses and workshops to enhance your project management skills. Courses can be customized to fit your specific needs, adhere to PMI standards, and are available online and in-person.