All professional project managers have their own preferred styles and techniques when it comes to managing projects, teams, and stakeholders. While project managers come from different professional and educational backgrounds and even work in different project management capacities, there are several realms of the job that pertain to all industries, fields, and specialties. Here are the top three crucial takeaways that project managers from all walks of life can benefit from.
1.) Communication. Communication is most definitely one of the top five most crucial areas of project management. Why? It is important to keep teams on the same level and playing field, regardless of the project size, complexity, or customer. One of the most frequent break downs of communication hide among project instructions or specifications. This could be a change in project specifications midway through the project, a misinterpretation in project specifications, or maybe even an error on the customer’s part. Regardless of where the introduced, a good project manager will make sure instructions are consistent throughout all documents, systems, etc. and clarify where clarification is needed.
2.) Team work. Another crucial area of project management is team work. Project managers are often “doers” and at times can even become “control freaks”. While this isn’t meant to put anyone down, of course, it is essentially true. Project managers are often very proactive when it comes to getting things done. This can be said for delegating tasks to other team members or assigning projects. However, it is important for project managers to remember that they are only as successful and as good as their team. Taking the reigns on every project and every task that needs to be done is not the way to go about this. Team members need to feel like valued and that their knowledge, expertise, and skills are taken seriously as well.
3.) Know your stakeholders. Knowing and establishing good and trustworthy relationships with stakeholders is another crucial area of project management. Not only does this make customers feel valued, appreciated, and understood, but it also helps project managers and teams to know what their products are and how the project deliverables will be used. This can also help clear up any misinterpretations that may arise when monitoring and responding to risks and even recognize when project specifications may be unclear or vague.
While these may seem obvious, most project managers will admit that they need to or have the room to improve on at least one or more of the above areas. As mentioned above, project managers come from all walks of life, meaning they come from different experience levels, both professional and educational, and in different industries.
As a result, different project managers have different styles and techniques that they have adapted to in working at their own capacities, in their own industries, and within their own teams. A good way to guarantee success for teams and for stakeholder deliverables is to implement these three tips for good project management.