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What You Need to Know to be a Successful Project Manager
Project management is a highly underappreciated art form. Only a true professional knows how to spin the plates of stakeholder engagement, budgeting, communication, goals and challenges along with the to-be-expected spanner in the works that threatens to smash at least one of those plates. These are the three things that can take you from amateur to expert:
1. Communicate With Your Team
It should go without saying, but problems often arise that are prolonged because the lines of communication are frazzled. There is a fine line between over and under communicating – and every project manager should be aware of it. It’s important to remember that each team is different. Sometimes a project manager will spend lots of time explaining, reviewing and confirming things with their team. Other times, it’ll be nerve-wracking how much your team can get done without needing to communicate constantly. It’s so important to make sure you have a suitable amount of face-to-face interaction. It’s easy to just send some emails and consider the project ‘managed’. However, keeping up the personal side of your project is essential for its success. If you understand exactly how your team effectively communicates, it should be easy to sustain.
2. Define Your Project Clearly
Again, it seems pretty obvious, but it’s actually where a lot of projects go under. Clearly defining your project to everyone involved should be the first thing on your to-do list before even starting work. Come up with attainable goals that line up with the mission of your project and your company, and create a timeline based on those goals. Defining what you expect from everyone and when you expect it will help everyone stay on task and minimize any confusion about why you’re even doing the project. It’s also essential to ensure support from a business sponsor. Without one a project is destined to fail. Defining a business sponsor to your team (and your team to your sponsor) will ensure that everything runs smoothly and effectively.
3. Avoid Scope Creep by Staying Flexible
In every project, it’s important not to lose focus on the goals you set in the beginning. On the other side of that, it’s also important to be flexible when problems arise and changes need to be made. It’s easy to lose focus as a project evolves, especially when the goals expand after the project has already started. Project managers must stay vigilant throughout the entire project to make sure that the goals that are set are still applicable at every stage of development. As well, flexibility is key in project management since not everything will work out exactly as planned. When problems arise, be sure to be transparent and solve the problem at hand with the help of your team. Keeping your goals focused and adaptable will result in the success of your project.
All projects run into challenges, but keeping these tips in mind throughout the process can help you and your team be successful. If you’re in need of an IT project manager, contact us today!