Project managers have the best of both worlds: they oversee the daily tasks of their team where they focus on improving efficiency and workflow on the individual level, but they also work with executives and shareholders to achieve bigger-picture goals. By providing effective project management, you are that magic link that connects the two facets of the workplace, and it’s not an easy job by any means.
Becoming a better project manager should be a goal for your entire career, because the demands of the job are only going to get greater. The better you are at your job, the more responsibility you will be given, the more successful project management you can provide, and the more valuable you will be to your team and company.
Here are three tips for every current or aspiring project manager to help you become better, or even the best, at your job.
Coming to the end of your project means many different paths have finally merged and it’s important you oversee each one of those paths to ensure they were followed correctly. Your job is not only to deliver the end result, but to find ways to improve your strategies and skills that lead to that result.
In order to produce more successful project management, look for ways to improve communication, speed up processes, and come in under budget. Be resourceful and, most importantly, be available. While it may not seem like effective project management to have an open door, your team knowing that they can come to you with any tiny detail will identify and solve problems before they become monstrous, especially if you have constructive advice and ideas to share with them.
There will be many instances when your team gets overwhelmed. There will be times when things go wrong. Deadlines will be missed. Budgets will be overspent. Clients will be disappointed. While part of your job is to ensure these things rarely happen, it’s also your job to deliver successful project management, which means instilling a sense of trust to your team members and clients when these situations arise.
If you handle yourself professionally in stressful situations, not only will you provide your team with the confidence to push through, but you’ll also put your clients and stakeholders at ease knowing that they can trust you to handle the situation. If either of those parties see you lose your cool, they may lose their trust in your ability to handle the project and re-think their decision to hire you, or lose trust in your successful project management ability.
Your job as a project manager is not just to manage. To provide effective project management, you must not get so caught up in the title that you forget your role—to make sure things get done. Sometimes that means you have to get your hands dirty and jump into the work.
When deadlines and your reputation as a productive and effective project manager are at stake, you must be flexible and willing to fill in as needed to ensure your project meets expectations. Identify tasks where you can let some of the responsibility go and delegate them to people in your team you know will deliver. This successful project management will free you up to focus on other important tasks which need to be completed.
These are just a few suggestions for projects managers or aspiring project managers to add to their skill set, and it is obviously not exclusive nor exhaustive. To learn more, check out this article by Workfront on 81 Tips from Project Management Experts.
Brooke Cade is a freelance writer with Workfront. When she is not writing, Brooke is committed to learning more about helping businesses and marketing professionals succeed with their project management goals.