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How to Be an Effective Project Manager

Business Blog

The key to a business's success is how it develops and executes its projects. HRDrive reported on a study that found that project management is one of the most sought-after skills when it comes to hiring workers, especially when it comes to roles in marketing and sales, business processes, opportunity assessment, and executive positions.

Project management is a skill that can be applied across diverse fields. In part, this is because project managers recognize how to handle people involved in the process. Along with understanding various strategies, programs, and techniques related to project management, it's important to learn how you can better relate to the different teams you're working with. Below are some tips on how you can be an effective project manager:

Set realistic goals and adapt to changes

Without specific targets, it’s difficult to manage roles or even measure the progress of a project. Having a defined scope of work can help your team set expectations and deliver appropriately. You can first start with the desired outcome, then work backward to determine deliverables and the timeline. Although, sometimes, things don’t go as planned and you will need to re-evaluate some milestones to accommodate any changes. As a manager, you will need to regularly assess your team’s capabilities and available resources, balancing these factors with your goals so you don’t overstretch your limits.

Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses

Many business projects involve a number of people, from conception to completion. Project managers should guide everyone to do their part appropriately, which requires you to know who the best person is for each assignment. Our blog post on “Hack Your Biased Brain!” shares three powerful hacks that Maureen Berkner Boyt gave in her five-minute talk to change our perspective when it comes to finding the right talent at work. Her third hack — “Investigate” — reminds us of the importance of taking a second look at assessing someone’s strengths and weaknesses, before delegating tasks. Getting to know people beyond their surface will show you what else they are truly capable of.

Build your team’s trust

It’s difficult to collaborate with someone you don’t believe in, and this often leads to micromanagement — which is stressful for everyone. When it comes to work requiring cooperation, trust is crucial in achieving good project outcomes. As insights on leadership from LHH highlight, earning trust and respect from your team has more staying power than constant monitoring. You can easily be a popular leader by making decisions solely so your coworkers like you, but you won’t necessarily earn anyone’s trust if they can’t count on you to make hard calls when necessary. Trust doesn’t grow overnight, so it's important to be consistent and accountable for your work. Setting an example for transparency not only encourages your team to be more honest themselves but also inspires confidence in one another. This way, a team can drive more value for the project.

Communicate and engage

With leadership comes a responsibility to maintain good communication with your team, as well as your clients and stakeholders. It’s much more preferable to over-communicate than remain disconnected, so you don't leave room for confusion. As the project manager, it’s essential for you to acknowledge everyone and develop a clear structure because not all people communicate in the same way. A feature on communication from Forbes shares how listening attentively, having an open mind to different perspectives, and providing constructive criticism can bring up innovative solutions to challenges. When you start communicating well with your team, they become more comfortable with executing projects without fear.

Ultimately, there is no single best approach to improving team dynamics, workflow, and output in project management, as many of these values go hand-in-hand. Project managers should cultivate good character so they can lead the team and the business to success.

Content intended only for the use of pmirochester.org

Written by Alicia Marvin


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