If you think that having brilliant ideas and being a visionary is going to make you a good project manager, then you better think again. Truth be told, it’s not that those traits are unwanted, but in order to thrive as a project manager, you will need to focus on developing more useful skills.
Here’s a good way to demonstrate how things work. Go to a Warner Bros. studio (or any other famous movie studio) and book a tour. This is an extremely profitable movie studio with an outstanding track record to show, but while on the tour, you will get a pretty good idea how projects are handled.
Once the whole movie magic is deconstructed, you will realize that the biggest part of the movie making process consists of recycling or re-utilizing old assets, and making the best with what you have at your disposal. So, a truly valuable project manager is the one who knows how to finish projects faster, cheaper and better. Here, we will go over the best practices you should perform regularly in order to truly get better as a project manager.
One of the major mistakes that occurs over the course of the project is jumping into work without prior planning. After all, planning takes time, and if you know what to do, the sooner you start, the sooner you will finish. This is a wrong approach simply because you start working on the project with too many assumptions, and thus, you are likely to end up with flawed end results.
Every project should have a planning phase to put everything in perspective. In other words, you need to have the following things before you begin:
- Project overview: Who are the stakeholders, how the project helps your business, the reason behind the project itself.
- Objectives: What your project needs to achieve in order to be regarded as successful.
- Scope: Define what you are going to do over the course of a project and what you won’t do.
- Risk analysis and contingency: Possible risks that will hinder progress and how to avoid them.
- Organization: Define the roles during the course of the project, as well as daily goals and responsibilities.
- Duration estimate: According to your planning and organization, how long will the project last.
Equal work load distribution
Another really important practice that is integral to the art of project management is equal workload distribution. Basically, you need to maintain a satisfactory daily performance, so that everything goes as planned. If everyone pulls their weight, the entire project becomes more pleasant for everyone involved and you will be able to see it through to the very end.
If one part of the team works extra hard, their productivity might drop in the future, and even if one project is executed successfully, the next one might prove to be harder to manage.
Project managers need to communicate with everyone involved in the project, in order to ascertain that everyone knows their role, and understands what is expected of them. More importantly, they need to create a healthy atmosphere for communication in general. No one should feel pressured to say that everything is clear if it isn’t, since it’s in everyone best interest to start the project with a crystal clear overview of their responsibilities.
This is really important if you are managing remote workers, since it harder to ascertain that the instructions are perfectly clear. So, before you even start the project, go over the major points with everyone who is involved in it, and ask them to tell you how they understand their task. The less you have to assume, the better.
Monitoring ongoing projects
Monitoring projects is another essential part of successful execution. It allows you to spot potential issues and act before they take a toll on the overall progress. Today, project managers rely on project tracking software to help them out in this department. Basically, it is a platform that everyone involved in the project uses, to receive updates, instructions, and to post their progress. Thanks to easy project management software interface, there will be no need for anyone to go through special training in order to use it.
With an online platform where everyone can collaborate, and post their work, it is easier for project managers to plan ahead, get insight into how long will it take for a project to be finished, and notify everyone in the event of unexpected changes.
Lastly, as a project manager, you should have a practice of raising everyone’s moral in order to keep the workplace productive. You need to celebrate every victory, go on team-building exercises, and maintain a friendly atmosphere where co-workers respect one another.
In other words, you need to think about how can you improve workplace in general, and create office rules that help everyone feel glad that they are a part of the team. So, it would be ideal if you can keep the place professional, but also fun to some extent.
These were some of the best practices you should implement in order to be a successful project manager. It is up to you to ensure that projects are handled with care and with a clear objective in mind, but also to ensure that everyone feels good and glad to be working on those projects.
Author Bio: David Miller is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Project. He can be found on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmiller4312. Owing to his keen insight, he enjoys writing about emerging trends and associated learning in project management domain. He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, David loves exploring the city, listening to Metal music and riding.