No matter the industry, project managers of varying fields are having to perform a variety of functions to help manage a team to ensure projects and tasks are completed according to plan. While there is no single attribute which contributes towards a successful project manager, there are a variety of skill sets that can help you stand out, such as knowing how to manage budgets and timelines. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to become a better project manager.
Facilitate Effective Communication
For a project to be completed according to plan, it’s crucial that you have open communication from the get-go with your team, stakeholders, and clients. The last thing you want is any blurred lines, especially with the risk of it derailing your project. Whether it’s by conducting regular meetings, emails, or project plans, these are just a few tools that facilitate effective communication.
Manage Expectations with Your Stakeholders
Throughout a project, it’s important that you stay in regular contact with stakeholders. If any problems occur along the way, the last thing you want is to give a nasty surprise to stakeholders, so if there are any issues that need addressing, make sure that you warn them in advance. Letting stakeholders know about the possible consequences, as well as presenting a plan of action to rectify the situation can make a big difference.
One of the key traits that a project manager should have is listening skills. While you may not always agree with a stakeholder’s point of view, you need to take on board what they are saying and keep them happy throughout a project. You can also take cues from a stakeholder’s tone of language, which can help you respond accordingly.
Be Self Aware and Accept Criticism
No matter how much knowledge and experience you have under your belt, problems can and do occur from time to time, so if something has gone wrong during the project, you may have to deal with criticism from stakeholders. Taking constructive criticism on board can only be a good thing, especially when it comes to working and improving on your skills to ensure your next project runs smoothly. Even if you haven’t received any criticism, asking for feedback can be beneficial as you can learn more about what your strengths are.
Use the Right Project Management Tools
Any successful project needs the right project management tools at hand. To help keep you organized, it’s important that you invest in the latest software and tools, rather than relying on old and outdated software which may not be up to the standard stakeholders expect. Whether it’s to help assign tasks to the right people, or manage the overall workflow of a project, having the latest tools at your disposal can ensure stakeholders are kept in the know throughout. There are plenty of resources to help you find the right ones, such as this list of the best project management tools from The Digital Project Manager.
Knowing how to communicate effectively with your team, clients, and stakeholders, keeping everyone in the know before, during, and after a project is complete, as well as using the best project management tools are just a few tips to take on board if you want to become a better project manager.