Sometimes, it can be hard to define what a project manager is – or who can be one. One of the main reasons for this is because project managers are diverse – and they themselves also need to use a variety of different skills.
Their job requires them to switch between managing a small team to taking a step back and looking at the project as a whole – or the bigger picture, as they call it.
This flexibility and versatility make project managers useful – as well as wanted. This is why there are so many project managers popping around everywhere. No one would blame you if you decide to dabble in project management – the job has a lot of perspectives. However, if you are just starting out, then you need to know some simple tricks that will make your job easier and better.
Find the right tool for the job
People say that a suit does not make a man. However, a good project management tool will go a long way to help turn you into the perfect project manager. One of the best things you can do for your job – as well as your sanity – is to find the tool that will help you manage everything you are doing. However, since Wunderlist is shutting down in 2020, you will need to find a good Wunderlist replacement for you and your team.
Be smart about picking your tool – it needs to fit your project needs, as well as how your team does their business. There is no point in choosing a tool that does not benefit your team. It will only serve as an obstacle and slow down their work! Instead, spend some time to examine what suits you the best – some teams work well with Kanban boards, for example, while others thrive with Gantt charts. It is your job to examine your project workflow and find the one for your people.
Once you do, the whole process will become much easier. A good project management tool will help you organize all your tasks with ease – most of the time with just a drag and drop function. Better, high-end tools will also track the team’s progress and help you create strategies to boost their efficiency and productivity.
Facilitate communication in the right way
You probably know that good communication is the key to successful project management. However, experts would also argue that it is a staple of every good team. People need to work together, whether it is to brainstorm new ideas or come up with solutions together. Even afterward, it is through good communication that you create even better results by working on what you already have.
Luckily, by picking the right tool, you will be helping facilitate and encourage communication too. Just like discovering the best project management tool, finding the right platform for communication will be your task. With a good tool, though, this platform will already be included.
But creating the opportunity to communicate within your team is not enough. One of the best simple tricks that every project manager needs to know is that you also need to facilitate communication and steer it in the right way. For example, you might want to start holding team meetings at least once a week. This can sometimes be easy – like when you already have a conference office, but sometimes it can be difficult – when your team is working remotely and in different time zones.
However, doing so is important for multiple reasons. First, you can look back at the previous week and try to locate bottlenecks. These are the things that are slowing down the process, and a meeting is a perfect chance to remove them. Secondly, you will be able to look at the next week and prepare for it, as well as set expectations – which is another trick about which you need to know.
Working with expectations is a part of your job
A thing that most people do not expect is the thin line you will need to walk as a project manager – and it is the thin line of expectations. However, if you find a way to manage them right, you will be on the way to becoming a much better project manager.
Whose expectations are you managing? Well, on one side, you will have to deal with the stakeholders and what they want from you. There is reporting to do, as well as deadlines to meet. You will never want to make the people paying you to wait or get angry! On the other side, though, there is your team, and the expectations they have about the job – but also you have of them. If they also get angry with you for not respecting these, the project will suffer. And so, you will need to perform the balancing act between these two.
Doing so, however, will create a well-oiled machine from your project. And luckily, managing all of these expectations does not need to be hard. When it comes to shareholders, you will want to report back often – as we mentioned. Once again, the tool you are using can help you with this! Client management software will manage your team’s efforts, and make reporting back to clients efficient and easy. Meanwhile, your clients will love getting weekly updates, since leaving them in the dark is almost the same as not doing any work at all.
Similarly, you will need to figure out the expectations in your team, too. You will need to create a plan of action but also work with them on it. They will, of course, expect you to respect their wishes or capabilities – so it’s important to consider these. Having faith in your team will also boost and empower them and make a stronger team in the long run. You can also set up expectations so that you create a friendly competition. This can make you a lot more efficient, but you need to be careful about it not getting out of your hands.
A person to solve every problem
As you can see, being a project manager means having to tackle many problems. And it is your task to find the right solutions for them! However, there are many ways and simple tricks that you need to know which makes the whole thing easier.
Finding the right project management tool will give you a great overlook of the project workflow and the ability to modify it. You should also focus on communication with your team and your clients, as well as to watch for their expectations. But the most important lesson is never to stop learning and exploring. New technologies change the way we approach project management and keeping up with these means you need to be up-to-date and on your feet at all times!
Originally posted 2020-05-15 22:25:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter