8 Useful Tips to Become a Successful Project Manager
Project Managers generally handle projects on a large scale depending on the company they work for. Be it a successful manager or a veteran; it is highly unlikely that every task will go according to one’s plan. Even before one begins to work, clients demand Project Management Professionals (PMPs) to handle their projects.
PMP is a project management certification from the Project Management Institute; a non-profit organization enforcing global standards to follow for achieving more success rates and having the same language, and terminology across projects.
Below is an 8-step plan for becoming a successful project manager. While this article describes practices a project manager should follow to become successful, do not confuse it with becoming a Project Management Professional. To become a PMP, you should consider PMP training instead.
1. Understanding the project as a whole
Understanding a new project, requirements, specifications, and expectations from the client is your number one step for ensuring success. Even, if you might have worked on several projects, breaking down big projects into smaller pieces, setting milestones, and reaching back to the client to confirm the changes is crucial.
This step can be referred to initiation of project phase where you will have a conversation with the customer, plan on what to do next.
2. Setting goals upfront and discussing with the team
After defining the project correctly, you will have to set goals (milestones) that your team can achieve, which can be referred back to the client when requested. By setting goals, you will have a clearer picture of the status of the project as well as easily incorporate changes or show relevant work to the client.
You must remember that discussing with the team is always recommended when planning such goals or milestones. Remember that project is a team-based activity and project success relies on your team too.
3. Prioritizing tasks, features, changes, and projects
As project managers have to deal with a different multitude of projects, it is necessary to prioritize which actions or decisions to make. While prioritizing any task or request, you should question:
- Does changing priority of specific task affect any schedule or deadline as promised to the client?
- Should we accommodate changes requested by the client in the planned timeline? Will it affect our schedule or affect team members work or budget?
- Does prioritizing Project X over Y will give us an advantage?
- Should we add this specific feature requested by the client in current iteration or push it to another MVP schedule?
Basically, prioritizing depends on risk assessment and other involved factors. Always prioritize in such a way, where you will have an advantage of ensuring everything goes as planned.
4. Communicating regularly with team members and collecting status reports
It is necessary that you communicate regularly with team members and collect status reports. As clients intend to know about the progress and want you to deliver what they are expecting; it is your responsibility to gather information and present it.
This not only helps you have an overview and status of the project but also allows you to listen to team members problems to offer resolution or adjust schedule if an issue arises.
5. Identifying effects, proposing changes in the timeline
When you get bombarded with multiple change requests from clients and require resolution in a limited time; it is going to be a hectic task. In such cases, it is necessary for you to understand, and identify effects that might occur by incorporating changes and propose changes in the timeline for the client.
While full resolutions cannot be offered within a short period, you will be able to convince clients by presenting data which affects timeline or budget or any such attribute and take necessary action.
6. Effective project management
Effective project management can be achieved by communicating with teams and involved stakeholders. By understanding requirements and planning accordingly, one can achieve great results. Your job isn’t completed here as you will have to monitor & control the project to ensure it runs on time and present it to the client before closing the project.
Ensuring all project phases from initiation, planning to execution, monitoring, controlling to closing are carried out as planned result in effective project management.
7. Adjusting project course when things don’t go as planned
Make sure you don’t do the biggest mistake that generally other PMs tend to do. You have to adjust the project course and notify the client about changes when things don’t go as planned instead of trying to revive a failed project.
Let go of your fear of failure and be responsible for what has been done. Just make sure that you do things right this time with adjusted schedules. While this is a stage you cannot revert, you can avoid it from happening next time.
8. Using tools or software to track projects and progress
Assuming you’re very good with remembering tasks that have to be fulfilled it is productive to have them on sheets or documents that you and your team can refer to. Using tools or software, you can be not only productive but also stay organized and prepare data that everyone can relate to.
Above are some tips that can help you become a successful project manager. While getting credential is not necessary as most experienced professionals see; the scope is changing as clients now demand PMPs to handle their projects for better success rate and standards. You can also become such a professional with PMP Training.