The job of a project manager entails some heavy responsibilities that can impact the future direction of the company you work for. You need to be aware of your team members, the project’s process and timetable, and, most importantly, the big picture for the outcomes you want to see. The people you’ll be managing may not see past the work they do, but you’ll have to keep everything in line with the overarching goals.
To be a great project manager, you’ll need to motivate your team to do their best work without micromanaging their every move, this is according to Workfront. It is a big step in your career, and it can push you and the company toward more success and different projects in the future.
While many professionals can only dream of this position, stepping into the shoes of a project manager for the first time can be overwhelming, to say the least. Here are six tips to help you become better at your job.
Take a Step Back
Oftentimes, managers get too involved and caught up in different tasks and processes. It is quite easy to forget what your position actually requires of you on a daily basis. As you assume more roles and are given more responsibility, the odds of having a burnout can accumulate.
Take a step back and remember what your fundamental responsibilities are. You don’t have to get swept up in the drama of the details, just be sure the final product will reflect what you need it to. If possible, Business News Daily suggests, make a vision statement, final goal visual, or some kind of written reminder of what the project should achieve once completed. Having something to work toward, and a big picture you can see or keep in mind will help you to navigate what small points are really important in the long run.
Communicate With Your Team
Effective communication is the hallmark of any successful project. As a project manager, your job is to pave an unobstructed channel of communication both in and out of the office. Know everyone’s email and phone contacts, so you can conveniently alert team members of status reports, meetings, and project plans, and changes. Be sure they can easily contact you for feedback as well. Keep your door and mind open to new ideas so everyone can feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns and questions.
Every good project manager knows how to divide their attention and time. They have trained their ears and mind to absorb as much information as possible from team members and relay relevant opinions or information back to them. Effective listening is much harder to hone than you might think, but purposeful listening can definitely be achieved over time and with practice. When you talk with team members make a conscious effort to allow everyone time to speak and when you listen, give your full attention.
Streamline with Technology
Use technology to help you fill in the gaps in your processes. By using project management software you will be able to have a faster project turnaround by automating repetitive tasks and analyzing big data. Streamline with applications like Dropbox and open documents to improve team collaboration and time management.
Be Better at Compromise
With so many elements to keep track of, a project can turn messy overnight. As a project manager, your team will expect you to make fast decisions and compromise when things go south. Don’t allow yourself too much time to consider a decision when you are in a time crunch. Think about ways things can get done faster and always keep your overarching goals in mind.
Completing a project can feel like the perfect time to award promotions and new positions, but always think about the time and place. Avoid hierarchy within your team or department, especially when everyone’s stressed about a nearing deadline. Instead, clear your mind and embrace criticism. Objectively look at where you can improve and encourage team members to do the same.
Becoming a project manager is not a solo mission. It requires you to improve not only intrapersonal skills, but interdependent skills as well. The six tips above will not only help you become a project manager, but will help your coworkers and employees improve their performance as a collective.