Project management is certainly not an easy role, but it can be a highly enjoyable and rewarding one. As International Project Management Day is just around the corner, we thought we’d provide you with some of our top tips on how to be an effective project manager for your team.
There are many ways that you can enhance your skills as a project manager, including investing your time in home learning. Read on to find out more:
Identify the project plan and goals
Before you embark upon a project, you need to ensure that you are kicking off with a really solid foundation. Having a strategic project plan and setting clear goals in place is important. What is equally important is ensuring that this plan has been signed off by all the key stakeholders. You don’t want to go down a road that important members of your leadership team have not brought into.
With regards to the goals, make sure that these are easily measurable so you can track the success of your project as it develops. If you need help with implementing goals or project planning, there are plenty of courses or home learning resources that you can look into.
Assemble a strong project team with a varied skillset
A successful project manager realises the importance of bringing together a good team of individual players that can bring an assortment of varied skills to the table. You need a team that can work together harmoniously, and communicate openly to achieve the goals of the project. Once your project plan has been signed off by all the key stakeholders, put together a team which will be able to fulfil all the project goals and work effectively together. It is imperative to ensure that each team member is clear on their individual roles and responsibilities.
Define a clear project timeline
Learning how to develop a realistic time plan with key project milestones and clear phases is a crucial task for a project manager. If you’re unsure or want to improve your skills in project phasing, you can look into online courses or home learning options. Make sure that each phase of the project includes an evaluation point. This is key to measure how your project is developing and nip any problems in the bud as they arise.
Communicate regularly and efficiently with members of your team
As a project manager, it is your role to ensure that everyone involved in the project, as well as other key stakeholders, are completely up to date with its progress. The communication needs to be clear and consistent. You want to ensure that everyone is clear on the project deliverables. Send out regular and frequent updates on how the project is panning out. Weekly status reports are really helpful to make sure that everyone is completely aligned and on the same page with all relevant information. Poor communication is one of the key reasons behind the failure of a project.
Deal with any potential project risks
As a project manager, it is your job to foresee imminent risks. You can spot these from your past experience working on similar projects, or through home learning and courses. Keep an eye out for any risks so you can learn to control them before they develop into a real problem. Clearly communicating with your team and asking them to honestly flag any potential risks will help avoid escalation.
Evaluate every project milestone
As you work through the phases of your project, make sure that you are continuously evaluating its progress. This will help to ensure that the final set of deliverables are aligned with your initial goals. It will also help remind everyone of the goals, and allow for open and honest communication on any issues that may arise along the way.
Analyse and evaluate the project thoroughly upon completion
One of the most important tasks of a project manager is to ensure key learnings are collated from the project and disseminated to all team members. Each project offers the opportunity to gather crucial insight on what is working for your company. Document what worked well and what didn’t. These learnings can then be used to inform and improve your next project.