When talking career possibilities, it’s safe to say project management is not for the fickle-hearted. This career path is an arduous road to walk on that requires you to have a myriad skills under your belt, both hard and soft. Regardless if you’re going to tackle a multi-million project or a smaller-scale start-up project, it’s important to remember there are some principles and tips that are universally applicable all around. Let’s see how you can thrive as a project manager with these five tips:
1. Further Your Education
Knowledge is power and will always be. It’s never too late to delve deeper into your project management education by taking additional project management courses.
There are different courses available and they each have their own strengths, helping you advance in the direction you want and specialise accordingly. You can develop your skills as a small business operator, project analyst, compliance officer, project leader, risk manager and so on – the possibilities are really endless. All you need to do is pick the right project management course for you and watch your career soar.
2. Understand and Consolidate the Company’s Expectations
Before you start any project as a project manager, it’s essential that you first get all your ducks in a row. This always means understanding the vision and expectations of the company you are working for. You will need to lay out realistic expectations that talk about the available budget, the timeline within which the project can be executed and the human resources needed to carry out such a project.
Apart from this, you’ll need to deeply understand the company’s values and vision and to align your project with them. Anything else will fall short of expectations and the project will be less than desirable in the end.
3. Define Your Milestones
You can never attain success if you can’t measure it. This is why it’s important to define how success looks to you along the line of the project. Make sure you define the essential milestones of the project with clear measurements in place of what would qualify as a milestone achieved.
Once you do this, don’t forget to also set a timeline for each and every one of your milestones, so you can eventually tick the boxes when the time comes. Having said this, remember that any project, regardless how small or large, will consist of a primary phase and a secondary phase. The primary phase is all about starting, planning, executing and closing. The secondary phase is all about small sub-phases that need to be coordinated with your team.
4. Identify the Strong and Weak Points of Your Team Members
When delegating the tasks of your project to a team, it’s crucial to know what every team member’s key strengths and weaknesses are. Although there are various schools of thoughts regarding this, the best approach is to emphasize the strong points of your team members. One team member may be great at crunching numbers, another may be excellent in maintaining great rapport with collaborators and vendors and another may excel in the tech department.
Delegate in such a way that you recognize the individual merits and traits of your team members, those that make them unique and make them work passionately. Maintain your focus on their strengths and not only will they be more fulfilled, but also more productive, which eventually will translate to success for your project.
All in all, these are just some of the tips and tricks to follow if you want to thrive as a project manager. Of course, the greater picture includes several other aspects you need to take into consideration if you want to get ahead successfully with your project and work harmoniously with your team.
Conflicts will also appear, as well as divergent opinions and you’ll need to be able to mediate them in a way that pleases everyone and also keeps your project on track. Participative leadership is also a key point to follow, since teams are far more motivated when they see their own leader roll up their sleeves and get into the mix of things from time to time. The list can go on. However just by starting with these four tips above you’ll get a clearer picture on what needs to be done as a project manager.