4 Tips for Enhancing Your Project Management Skills

In order for a company to succeed in the market, managers have to-work efficiently and effectively in order to meet their business objectives.

Despite managers having contrasting responsibilities, every role is vital to the success of the business. One of these crucial roles that can have a significant impact on a business, and can often be overlooked are Project Managers.

PM’s have the responsibility of organizing and maintaining the workflow of their team to accomplish their goals and to complete their projects for clients. Being a leader in this position can be challenging at times and will put your management skills to the test. Whether you are new to the position or are a seasoned vet, there can always be skills to improve how you manage your team and exceed client expectations.

Patience is Key

No matter the project or task at hand, at some point in your career you will experience a situation where your patience will be tested. You will be pressured to take action when you know you shouldn’t and become stressed when nearing a deadline. When you get to this point, stop. Take a breath. Analyze the situation ahead of you and take things one step at a time.

Being patient with your team and/or with the task at hand will be the difference between success and failure. If you make a decision based on irrational points or emotions rather than facts, the quality of the work will suffer and have a negative impact on the project. Take a step back when you begin to feel overwhelmed, and take a bit of time to properly analyze the situation at hand. Write up a plan and consult your fellow workers for opinions as calmly as possible. It may seem counter-productive at first, however taking time to address the problem early on will save time in the future before the problem gets out of hand. Nothing’s worse than co-workers seeing their managers feeling overwhelmed because they too will begin to feel stressed as a result.

Be a Team Player

A classic line from the Spider-Man Comics “with great power comes great responsibility” is more associated with superheroes, however, it can also be applied to Project Managers. Being in this role not only provides great responsibility to your company, but also gives you the ability to assign tasks, assignments, and also have the final answer to a major decision among your team. Being able to handle that power responsibly can be difficult to some, and it is vital that you are able to handle the role accordingly.

In many businesses and workplaces, there are examples of managers or other team leaders who abuse their power and take advantage of their responsibilities. Instances of this occurring can be when a project doesn’t go as planned and they shift the blame on the team, or if a project is completed successfully and the leader takes all the credit. According to a survey done by Clear Company, about 97% of employees and executives believe that lack of structure within a group has a direct impact on the project’s outcome. In order to receive both respect and high-quality work from co-workers, they need to be respected and given credit when deserved.  Not only is being honest and fair to your group important but involving them in major decisions is crucial for morale. Having your team playing a more active role in decision-making can help them feel more vital to the company and show them that their opinions matter in the project.

Don’t Ignore Change, Embrace It!

Throughout a business’s life, there will be many instances where changes in policies, procedures, and personnel will force you as a PM to adapt. Not many managers or leaders embrace change easily, as they believe it can affect the current workflow of the company. However, that kind of mindset is exactly how teams start failing when new implementations are forced into the flow of a business.

In order to effectively adapt to new changes, it is crucial that you recognize what it is and why it’s there to begin with.

Could it be that there was an incident previously that resulted in a new policy? Did someone leave their position or get let go? This is important because it helps give a better understanding as to why something new was brought in to begin with. Next, you must consider the positives/negatives of the new policy, procedure or person to better understand how they can be utilized in the business environment. Understanding these key factors is crucial to proper implementation within the team dynamics without disrupting too much of the workflow.

Open and Clear Communications

One of the most crucial traits of any successful Project Manager involves effective and proper communication to both his/her team and clients. Having clear channels available is essential in order for delivering clear and concise instructions to the team, and making sure that clients are aware of all activity to their requested work.

There are different ways to ensure proper communication is established between you and your team. For example, make sure everyone has access to at least one or two different methods of contacting you, such as email, phone number, social media messaging, or any type of channel that allows someone to contact you directly. For any one of those channels given, you must have access to them and respond as soon as possible. This is to ensure that any questions, concerns, or requests are addressed immediately to avoid confusion and misunderstanding to the project. According to the same survey from Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives surveyed blame the lack of communication for failures within the workplace. It’s crucial that anything you send to co-workers is as clear and concise as possible to prevent that same breakdown from occurring to your team.

Being responsible for managing a talented team and working with client’s workload can feel stressful at times, however knowing how to manage your team effectively will not only make your job easier but raise the quality of the work that much more. Being patient with your team and tasks will help lead to more effective solutions, showing your team that their voices matter and are respected. Embracing change will allow for smoother transitions and using effective communication channels will help ensure a successful and happy group. Taking on the role of a PM can seem stressful, however, it can be very rewarding if you know how to be an effective leader to your team.