13 Ways to Become a Better Project Manager
No matter how many projects you’re juggling, one thing is clear, all of the weight of potential success for your business is on your shoulders. You know your team has the experience and skill. It’s up to you to lead them from the initial proposal to project completion. To do that, you need to be the best project manager possible. Incorporate these tips to become a better project manager at your firm.
#1: Realize your can’t do it all yourself
A project manager’s job is to oversee, not to be doing all the work him or herself. To deliver the very best product to your client, you need to ensure you are leading. Don’t assume you can do it better. Whether it’s in the actual drawings or in scheduling meetings, allow your team to work for you and through you to get the job done. Delegate.
#2: Ask questions and listen
Don’t just go through the motions of completing a project even if you fully believe you understand the scope of it. Rather, show your team and your client that you care about their complete satisfaction by asking questions. By involving many people in the consultations and meetings, you present an opportunity to not only clarify key points, but also to build rapport within your team. Remember to listen – you just might learn something.
#3: Create priorities for each project
A key component of success is not just meeting the clients’ goals, but exceeding their expectations. To achieve this, create priorities and goals for each project. Inform and direct each of your team members towards accomplishing these tasks. If you don’t know where the goal is, how can you excel?
#4: Maintain a natural authority
Skilled project managers don’t have to lay down the rules or borrow the power of another manager or business owner. Rather, they are leaders who show their skill by leading – a skill that comes from commanding a natural authority.
#5: Reassure your team that they can do it
Let’s face it – getting bogged down in a project with endless complications can easily sour any deal and create difficulties within your team. The best way to overcome this is through reassuring your team that they can do it. Being the cheerleader from the sidelines doesn’t always mean having the answers, but rather encouraging the team to find them.
#6: Be thorough
To really command success, ensure you’ve thought about the details. Take your time in creating a plan that’s as thorough as possible.
#7: Share your vision
It’s also important to give direction as a project manager. You can’t just lead them to success. It’s important to show them what your vision really is.
#8: Always respect each member of your team
Respect their opinions, needs, ideas, and concerns. Respect isn’t an option for a project manager. It’s often a defining determinant of either successful relationships or disgruntled employees.
#9: Communicate regularly
Set up tools and resources to allow you to communicate on each project with your team seamlessly. That’s critical. You’ll want to check in each day or every few hours, as needed.
#10: Say what you really mean
People make mistakes, have bad ideas or just plain don’t do what they should. As the manager of the project, its success depends on your ability to correct these mistakes, inform them of the proper solutions and to overcome communication barriers. Don’t belittle, turn it into a learning experience.
#11: Do what you say you will
If you promise a client a set progress plans by noon, get them there. If you tell your team, they are off at 5 for the day, don’t call afterward – it can wait until tomorrow. Do what you say you will do.
#12: Be available
Both to the client and to your staff, it’s important to be available. Listen, guide, and most importantly, keep them on track.
#13: Be organized
A key part of your success when balancing numerous projects is having the means and ability to remain organized. That’s not always easy to do, but it is something that you should aim for on every detail.
The right software and tools can help you to remain successful. As an architect or engineer, it’s up to you to use project management software that can ensure each detail is always at the forefront of the project.