Being a good project manager isn’t enough. To stand out, you need to be an excellent project manager. It takes a little effort and time to go from being a good project manager to an excellent one though.
Managing a project doesn’t only mean scheduling the tasks and calculating the budget. It requires being an effective communicator, someone who listens to the needs of clients and ideas of his employees. And you also have to be an empathizing leader whom everyone wants to listen to. An excellent project manager is good at handling business as well as developing a professional and healthy relationship with the client and employees.
Following are some simple tips every project manager must know to become an excellent project manager:
1. Be Good At Time Management
Managing a project cannot be without managing time. A project manager has to be punctual and regular in his routine. Only then the employees will follow the same. If you follow a proper timetable, it lets you and employees be productive during working hours and relax during free hours. Project managers must make sure that the assigned tasks are completed right on time.
2. Do Not Miss The Research
Research is the foremost and most important part of any project. You need to do some research on the purpose, scope, and requirements of the project. Never start with incomplete information. If you do so, you will be missing out on many important aspects of the project. However, if research and information are complete, problems can be identified and solved beforehand.
3. Evaluate And Re-Evaluate The Priorities During The Project
When you are into the project, things keep changing. What you prioritize most at the start of the project might not be that important now. Therefore, keep an eye on the project at all times and make changes in the priorities whenever needed. It helps to accomplish tasks quickly.
4. Understand The Challenges And Opportunities
When you have done proper research and have gathered complete information, it will help you identify and understand the challenges that lay ahead. As challenges do not come without opportunities, an excellent project manager is able to comprehend the hidden opportunities as well. With challenges and opportunities both in hand, it is easier to get to the solutions.
5. Be Good At Communication And Interaction
Communication and interaction skills are the utmost requirements of being an excellent project manager. As there is always a room for more, you can always keep working on your interpersonal and communication skills to be more of a better listener and speaker. A person who is good at listening, engaging and convincing others always outstands. So, being good at communication and interaction is one healthy tip!
6. Hire A Talented Team
As you need a team to help with the problems, solutions and fulfilling the tasks, make sure you hire a talented team. You must know the area of expertise, strengths, and weaknesses of your team members and then assign them the tasks accordingly. In this way, you can nourish their skills and talents which will help you with the project.
7. Stay Up-To-Date To New Trends And Technological Innovations
An excellent project manager always stays up-to-date with the new trends and technological innovations in the project management industry. As there are various new trends and ideas emerging in the field, they can be really helpful in solving the issues and challenges coming your way.
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8. Possess And Keep Practicing Problem-Solving Skills
When a task is assigned to you that means there are problems assigned to you as well. Different new problems can come up anytime during the project. They can be related to your project, your employees, or with your workplace. An excellent project manager has to be a great problem solver. Be it the problems of your task or anything related to it, you should know what are the most suitable solutions that can be implemented.
9. Stay Prepared For Any Complex Situations Anytime
It is really important to stay prepared for any complex situation you may have to face anytime. Maybe there is an emergency during the project, such as one of your most crucial team members being unavailable. There will be a need to replace him with an equally skilled worker for some time. In these scenarios, an excellent project manager will not be worried or anxious. He must be competent enough to solve that complex situation.
10. Be Kind And Empowering Towards Your Employees And Co-Workers
Empathizing and empowering is a key to build up a motivated and cooperative team. You need to show your team members that you understand their problems very well. You must not be a dominating and bossy leader. Always try to work together with your team members and consider their problems like yours. Only then, they will be equally helpful to you.
11. Plan Effectively And Stay On Track
An important step after doing complete research is planning the project. Only after planning, can you know how to implement your plan properly and how to deal with the problems that might come up. Effective planning helps you stay on the track. By doing this, you can schedule your project in a way that even if there are some problems, there is enough time to solve them.
12. Stay Transparent And Don’t Use Information As Means Of Controlling
An excellent project manager is totally transparent. He shares every bit of information with his team and then enjoys the benefits equally. If you use the information to control your team, the employees never stay true and loyal to you. So, stay transparent and share information!
13. Learn To Accept Criticism
Accepting criticism is the most difficult part of your professional life. But someone who learns to accept criticism also excels the most. If you want to be an excellent project manager, you should be able to learn from your drawbacks and flaws and be ready to accept them. Being a leader does not mean you are perfect. So, even if your juniors tell you something beneficial, accept and learn from it.
14. Hold Team Meetings Weekly To Let Everyone Share Their Ideas And Progress
Meetings are a big tip for progress. A good project manager always stays aware of where the project is heading and what can contribute to making the project efficient and better. For this purpose, hold a meeting with your team every week. Also, give everyone a chance to speak and share the progress they have made so far and if they have anything new in mind.
15. Use Project Management Tools And Methodologies
Whatever you learned during Project Management training and test preparation, utilize it while you are working on any project. As you learned various project management processes and tools like charts and diagrams, make sure you are bringing them in use. A good project manager always relies on his knowledge to bring out the best in his team.
16. Set Due Dates For Small Tasks Rather Than One Deadline For A Full-Fledged Project
Divide your project into little stages and tasks. Do not try to complete it in a single run. Make small parts and divide it among your team members according to their expertise. Once done, let them know the due date for that. Meanwhile, make sure you are helping and cooperating with each member completely. Supervision doesn’t come without cooperation. So, help your team meeting due dates for small tasks and you will be able to complete the project in time.
17. Believe In Yourself And Your Team
Believing in yourself and your team is the simplest tip for being an excellent project manager. You must have confidence in your planning, skills, and capabilities. It helps you get away with any problems and challenges you face during the project.
18. Treat Project Management Both As An Art And Science
Project Management is a science you have studied in the Project Management Book of Knowledge. However, its implementation is an art. So, treating it as a scientific method or considering it to be completely artistic won’t help. As it is a blend of both, you must treat it like that. This helps you in becoming an excellent project manager.
19. Calculate Cost And Risks Beforehand
The cost and risks of the project must be calculated beforehand. A good project manager knows what risks can appear and what their solutions might cost. Making an effective and simultaneously, affordable budget is what an excellent project manager does.
20. Know The Business Results You Are Aiming For
From the start till end, you must know what you would like to extract out of the project. You should have a complete idea of the outputs and goals you are aiming at. Also, once the project is implemented you would get the results you have aimed for or not. An excellent project manager always designs and shapes the project in a way that successful business results are obtained. So, know and business results and plan accordingly.
Best of luck!