Becoming a great project manager is possible for anyone. No one starts out with exactly the right skill set and there are always opportunities to improve and do better. If you’re keen to evolve as a project manager then these are some of the simplest ways to do it.
- Be a consistent and effective communicator. This means ensuring that communication is maintained for all parties, from stakeholders to managers, and keeping lines of communication open. Use all the tools at your disposal to do this, from video conferencing platforms to email and face-to-face meetings where practical.
- Learn how to listen. Many of us listen to others while thinking or doing something else and, as a result, we can miss subtle emotional signs or behavioural cues. Being able to listen actively means being fully present with the speaker and learning how to empathise with their perspective and see what they’re saying from their point of view.
- Be clear about next steps. Every time a meeting takes place make sure that everyone walking away from it knows what they need to do next and when that needs to happen by.
- Be transparent and authentic. If you’re using access to information as a means of control then you’re likely to end up in a sticky situation because other people talk. Instead, be transparent if you want to build trust and work on your own authenticity – aligning who you present yourself to be with what you say and do.
- Deal with issues quickly. Establish a simple, routine project control cycle so that any issues that arise are being tackled as soon as they are identified and are not left to escalate.
- Work on self awareness. It’s easy to get set in your ways as a project manager. However, the best opportunities for improvement often arise from working on self awareness and through the constructive criticism of others.
- Always look for the problem you’re trying to solve. If you’re struggling to identify the end objective for a project then look at it from the perspective of the issue that it exists to solve. If you take the time to define this clearly then everyone involved will understand the goal.
- Use technology and templates. Both can save on time and standardise processes across the project.
- Stay on top of the process. It’s essential that parts of the project don’t end up without observation. Setting soft and hard deadlines can be a simple way to ensure that progress is measurable and everyone remains motivated. Regularly looking for project ‘gaps’ by checking in with time, cost, objectives etc will ensure that these don’t have the opportunity to become voids.
- Review and learn. Take the time, either within the project cycle or when it’s finished, to review recent progress and work out whether anything could have been done better.
Becoming a better project manager requires a series of small shifts in the way that you approach and steer people and project cycles.
Find out more by booking onto our Project Management training course…