5 tips to help you succeed as project manager

Being a project manager isn’t an easy job. You’ve got to manage your own team to deliver a project successfully, all the while dealing with those higher up the food chain. You could be in charge of all manner of things ranging from budgeting, buying, selling, timelines and ultimately delivery, all of which require different skills and management styles.

That makes it virtually impossible to define what makes a good project manager as each organization’s needs and definition of the role will be different. No matter what is being demanded of you as a PM, here are five tips to help you succeed.

Write everything down

Don’t try and remember everything – there is only so much information that a human brain can hold. On average, people forget 50 percent of the information they’ve been told in the previous hour. That rises to 70 percent over 24 hours and up to 90 percent over a week – and that is without the pressures of being PM and having information fired at you left, right and center at the same time as trying to juggle a million tasks.  Write everything down. It doesn’t matter whether it is in a notebook or on a computer, make sure you record everything so you are able to refer back to it at a later date, just in case you forget something. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.

Delegate properly

Take full advantage of the expertise in your team and delegate properly. Just because you are the PM, it doesn’t always mean you are the expert. If part of the project involves website design and you’ve got a person on your team who used to work for one of the top web design companies in the United States, then use their expertise to deliver the best possible project. Delegating well is one of the most important skills a PM can have as ultimately, it will help make your life easier.

Always have a backup plan

It’s never likely to be smooth sailing as a PM and you have to expect that things are going to go wrong at some point. Don’t just rely on a Plan A for delivering value to your client – have at least a Plan B, C and maybe even D to cover all bases.

Be prepared to manage conflict

Conflict in project management is inevitable. When a group of individuals from different backgrounds are thrown together and asked to work as a team, then you are always likely to have people wanting to work in different ways and with different opinions. You need to be prepared to manager that conflict through a mixture of collaborating, compromising and, if it comes down to it, forcing. For more ideas on how to manage conflict, have a look at this great article on Over Head Watch.

Don’t just manage – lead

The job title may be Project Manager, but what you really are is a Project Leader. Leaders are different to managers – rather than simply managing their team, they inspire them. Leaders offer support no matter what, they listen to challenges to their ideas that could help improve the final delivery and above all, they make their team realize how important they are to success of the task. Remember – your team doesn’t work for you, they work with you.






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