Let’s take a look at seven ways in particular that project managers can succeed.
- Learn to use project management tools effectively
As you already know such a variety of wondrous project managing software tools exist today that it is foolhardy to proceed in a project of any type of complexity without having a rudimentary understanding of available software tools, if not an intermediate to advanced understanding of them. Project management tools today can be of such enormous aid that they can mean the difference between a project succeeding or failing.
- Be able to give and receive criticism
Giving criticism effectively is not easy. There is a fine line between upsetting a team member’s day and offering constructive feedback that will help the team member and help the project. Likewise, the ability to receive criticism is crucial for project managers.
As the old saying goes, it is easy to avoid criticism: Say nothing, do nothing, and
be nothing. If you are going to move mountains, you are going to have to accept a
- Be receptive to new procedures
You don’t know everything, and thank goodness. Team members, other project managers, and those who authorize the project to begin with can provide valuable input, including new directions and new procedures. Be open to them, because you just might find a way to slash $20,000 and three months off of your project cost.
- Manage your time well
Speaking of time, if you personally are not organized, dawdle on low-level issues, and find yourself perpetually racing the clock, how are you going to manage your project, a project team, and achieve the desired outcome on time and on budget?
- Be effective at conducting meetings
Meetings are a necessary evil in the event of completing projects, with the exception of solo projects. A good short text on this topic is Breakthrough Business Meetings by Robert Levasseur. This book covers the fundamentals of meetings in a succinct, enjoyable manner, and can make any project manager an effective meeting manager in relatively
- Hone your decision-making skills
As a project manager you won’t have the luxury of sitting on the fence for very long in relation to issues crucial to the success of your project. Moreover, your staff looks to you for yes, no, left, and right decisions. If you waffle here and there, you are giving the signal that you are not really in control. As with other things in project management, decision-making is a skill that can be learned. However, the chances are high that you already have the decision-making capability that you need. It is why you were chosen to manage this project to begin with. It is also why you have been able to achieve what you have in your career up to this point.
Trusting yourself is a vital component to effective project management.
- Maintain a sense of humor
Stuff is going to go wrong, things are going to happen out of the blue, the weird and the wonderful are going to pass your way. You have to maintain a sense of humor so that you don’t do damage to your health, to your team, to your organization, and to the project itself. Sometimes, not always, the best response to a breakdown is to simply let out a good laugh. Take a walk, stretch, renew yourself, and then come back and figure out what you are going to do next. Colin Powell, in his book My American Journey, remarked that in almost all circumstances, “things will look better in the morning.”
Source: Project Management 10 Minute Guide – Jeff Davidson Publisher – Macmillan USA