When it’s your job to make sure that a project goes smoothly, you’re probably fully aware that there are challenges looming that could keep you from staying within budget or on the right page. However, for the smoothest process possible, it’s a good idea to use these tried and true practices for leadership and project management.
- Expect Complications: As a project manager, you are not perfect. Unexpected situations and conflicts will arise, but they don’t have to mean “failure” for your project. Be sure to use buffers and windows of time in your schedule to allow for the unknown to take place.
- Declare Your Goals: If you don’t know what it is that you want your project to accomplish, it’s likely that it won’t accomplish much. If you’re interested in reaching a financial or growth goal, be sure to state it and make sure everyone involved with the project knows what it is.
- Always Keep Everyone on the Same Page: Towards the end of each meeting concerning the project, leave a small window of time open for following up on each member’s progress and what their immediate goals are for the time being. This is a great way to keep everyone on track and on the same page.
- Consider What Your Project Needs: Not all projects that a project manager will come into contact with will require that processes be carried out by the book. Be as flexible as possible with your project and only carry out the processes that it particularly requires.
- Even the Smallest Project Requires a Project Manager: No matter how minute a project might seem, a project manager and team members must always carry it out. The team members are there to carry out the tasks strategized by the project manager at all times. A project is a project, no matter how big or small. Ignoring this can lead to project failure.
- Develop a Firm Plan: If you don’t have a solid goal or plan in place for a project, you should not begin work on it. This is how project leaders wind up wasting manpower, time, and money.
- Focus on Solutions: If a conflict arises amidst your project, don’t just extend the deadline to make up for the mistake. Put your title to use and devise a plan for overcoming the obstacle while moving forward in the project.
- Use Your Team’s Strong Points to Succeed (Their Strengths): If you take the time to get to know your team members, familiarize yourself with their personalities, and find out how they approach problems, you might be surprised to find that you can complete certain tasks in half the time.
- Inform Stakeholders of Problems Before They Actually Become Problems: No stakeholder wants news of a problem that could have been easily avoided if they had been informed sooner. If you see a problem looming on the horizon with your project, inform your stakeholders as soon as possible to work out an effective solution.
- Work Alongside Your Team, Not Above Them: Lastly, rather than delegating orders and then disappearing on your team, you should be working alongside and helping them to succeed. Collaborate and have fun, and it’s likely that you will see amazing results.
For more tips, support, and other resources, I invite you to attend the Project Manager Success Summit, a 3-day event where 16 of the world’s top project management trainers, coaches, authors, speakers and thought leaders share proven tips, strategies and approaches to take your career to the next level… and beyond.
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