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Project Management Hints and Tips

The life of a project manager isn’t as easy as teammates would believe. A lot is needed to succeed as a project manager. Professional qualifications are a must but personal qualities can also make or break a project manager’s career. Here are some helpful tips for project managers to succeed –

Good Listening Skills Are Important – Many project managers have ruined their careers because they didn’t value the art of listening. When project managers stay quiet and listen to the concerns of teammates, discussions regarding projects, and everything else, they give the impression of being fair and balanced. Not just that, this simple tip can help to motivate the teammates, satisfy customers and understand client requirements. As a regular exercise, every project manager should actively try to speak less and listen more, especially during team building meetings. The difference would be instantaneous and the project manager would realize that the work has become much smoother when listening skills are put to good use.
Develop Problem Solving Capabilities – Young project managers tend to focus more on speed than quality. They rush to finish projects and adhere to deadlines but fail to put enough emphasis on project management planning and mapping out a project before it begins. What happens is when the project nears its end, a lot of problems start cropping up. Most of these problems tend to occur because problem solving capabilities are absent in the project manager. Simple planning and preemptive problem solving can help to battle big roadblocks towards the end of the project. It can also lead to better results and quick promotions for the project manager.
Become The Example That Is Being Taught – Project managers often have problems in trying to generate team spirit and the best way to go about this issue is by becoming the example. If you have a problem, don’t hesitate in asking for help. When the teammates see that the project manager is open to discussion and doesn’t hesitate in micromanaging, they would understand the concept better. It also sends a message to the team that the project manager is not separate from the group but is, in fact, a part of it. Thus, the rules that are being preached to everyone are applicable to the project manager as well.
Cultivate Emotional Intelligence – Project management is one field where emotional intelligence is probably more important that any other trait. Some project managers are born with high emotional intelligence while others need to cultivate it. Thankfully, experience is a good remedy for those managers who lack in emotional intelligence. This important trait has many uses – it would help a project manager in knowing about the weaknesses and strengths of their team. It can also be used for interacting with customers and clients, and gauging their requirements. On top of that, emotional intelligence would act as a radar for the project manager, informing them when a personal situation might need intervention.
Communicate The Good and Bad – Great communication skills are essential tools in the arsenal of any project manager. They can be used for delivering bad news with motivation and grounding the team while offering good news. This is why so much of the theoretical base of a project manager’s education revolves around communication. Managers who take proper training from good institutes learn about the barriers in communication, facial expression, open body language, friendly demeanour, and so much more. These skills are used in the life of a project manager for keeping the team together at all times.Criticise When Needed – A huge part of the project manager’s job is ensuring that the team is growing and developing as a whole. This means that not only is the team getting better at handling projects, individual members are also scaling personal milestones. In this journey, the project manager offers a pat on the back when needed. Sometimes, however, it might be important to offer constructive criticism to teammates. When necessary, criticism can be delivered with a twist. Body language and right words can be used for better results. Also, monitoring the said teammate’s performance and doling out appreciation when the mistake is rectified is a big part of the growth process.Discuss Instead of Procrastinating – Problems might crop up between the manager and teammates or between the teammates themselves. Instead of waiting for the issues to resolve themselves, the project manager should talk it out. This little tip would stop issues from escalating and that, in turn, would ensure that the project does not suffer because of personal issues between people.The most important part in this journey is getting properly trained in the field by an institute that is reputed and experienced. Parallel Project Training has years of experience in project management and budding project managers should definitely look to PPT for growth and development.

About Paul Naybour

Paul is a project management consultant and account manager with particular expertise in the analysis, process development, and implementation of change program management, risk management, earned value management, and bespoke project management training development and delivery. Paul is the Business Development Director of the company Parallel Project Training

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3 comments

  1. There are so many projects that are prone to fail simply because they are not managed right from the beginning. These tips are valid for both new and experienced project managers. I really like the first two tips that refer to communication and quality. If project managers understand their importance, they become open-minded and can approach any situation in an effective manner.

  2. Project Management soft skills are essential. A project manager may have all hard skills learned and earned in a career managing projects. However unless they master the art of speaking with empathy, communicating while managing perception, negotiating effectively, and managing conflicts among their team members, the job will always be a hard one. Mastering such skills makes the project management profession all the more interesting rather than challenging. Influencing people to change their minds is an art that can be mastered by applying principles such as the ones you mentioned. Project Management is both an art and a science and learning to master the art is what makes managing projects satisfying.

  3. Hi Paul

    Good summary of skills required to be a successful PM – totally agree with the points on people / soft skills and communication – for me they would be high priority, both in terms of:

    1. Building relationships with project stakeholders, and dealing fairly the inevitable personality issues which will arise when any group of people work together
    2. Communicating both good and bad (e.g. it depends on the project, but what I’ve found is that when an issue arises it should be communicated to stakeholders as promptly as possible, along with the steps in place to mitigate / resolve). This means there are no surprises when updates appear, and if stakeholders are able to assist, they can do so (sometimes all it may require is an email / phone call from the project sponsor to have an issue moved up the priority list)

    Great post, thanks for sharing

    Aidan

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