No Project Manager should ever stop developing their skillset.
10 Ways to Become a Better Project Manager
1. Communicate…and communicate again.
Project Management is people management. So many errors arise as a result of misunderstandings – misunderstandings that could easily be avoided by more effective communication. So next time, take your communication above and beyond what you would normally deem adequate or suitable. Iron out those costly errors.
2. Project Management Tools
Aside from possessing strong organisational and time management skills, every Project Manager , in order to maximise their effectiveness and efficiency, should be using the correct Project Management tools – with our preference being Oracle Primavera’s Professional Project Management or PPM for short. Primavera P6 PPM boasts the most comprehensive and detailed project management functionality of any project management software on the market.
3. Time Management is king.
In fact, regardless of which field you’re in – be it Project Management or something less glamorous, effective time management skills really separate the wheat from the chaff, and turn mediocre, run of the mill Project Managers, into world class professionals. So minimise your distractions and increase your efficiency now.
4. Create Real Relationships with Stakeholders.
Whether you’re a freelance expert being brought onto a job, or part of an in-house Project Management team for a large corporation, building and maintaining real and honest relationships with key stakeholders will result in a better project life cycle and project experience for everyone involved. Start early in the project cycle – knowing the immediate network you’ll be working with, well, will allow you to more effectively govern and manage the project.
It was Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of America, who said; ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’
Even the most omnipotent Project Manager will face setbacks and problems. Face them head-on and persevere.
6. Micro-Manage as far as possible.
Exceptional results are found in the fine details. Subdivide your larger projects into sets of smaller jobs. Monitor the true performance of your projects by setting subgoals and monitoring your progression against them. Failing to hit your time-sensitive small goals will also act as an early warning system signalling potential project failure. Act fast to correct the Project’s course.
7. Don’t over-plan.
Just get started. Certainly comprehensively plan your project – but do so within reason. Many obstacles cannot be planned for, and can only be overcome when encountered. No Project is static, with project requirements and goal being liable to change or be adjusted at any given moment. So push on, and discover what lies ahead.
8. We are better than I.
Project Management is collaborative, and you’re the facilitator. Not the boss. Listen to the opinions of junior colleagues and assume they know something you do not (…however unlikely that may be). Not only will this continue to allow growth in your personal skill set, but it is also likely to result in better overall Project heath, as you’ll be less likely to overrule or disregard good advice and suggestions.
9. Allow ample time for Procurement and Approval processes.
These two items can often present significant roadblocks on a Project journey if left unchecked. Communicate often and communicate early. If you’re working with an individual known for having poor response rates, take additional measures to ensure you get the information you need.
Include an urgent tag. Make the individual aware of the consequences of not acquiring the needed go-ahead by a certain date. Email and follow up with a phone call.
10. Learn from each and every Project – especially your failures.
‘Fail early, fail often’. You’ll learn more from your failures than your wins. After every Project has been concluded, take a comprehensive look back at your work. What worked well? What didn’t? What could you have done differently to have created a different, more successful outcome?
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