There is fierce competition in today’s job market and with exceptional employees hard to come by, enterprises are finding it difficult to fill key designations across various departments. Also professionals who are looking to take their careers to the next level, embracing project management in the form of continual learning or certification is just what you need.
Today, project management has a strong presence all over the world. Even a small CSR initiative taken by your enterprise can be a project. Project management is in a constant state of flux and has evolved over a period of time from traditional waterfall method. With methodologies such as PMP®, PRINCE2, Agile, XP and more have bridged the gap between technology and personnel who handle projects.
Project practitioners from around the world regularly meet in various project management conferences around the world where they network and share evolving best practices, issues and share tips to help others. Below mentioned are few of those confidential / secret tips which help you to put you ahead of the curve and helps you to differentiate yourself from your peers.
Write down even the minutest of details:
It is said that, ‘the devil is in the detail’, and it is often these small things that add up. Project managers often forget small details in the project by not writing them down in the first place. By ignoring small / simple details a project may turn out to be completely different from the customers’ requirement.By writing down each and every detail of the project, it is easy to run through the notes than to completely forget. There are so many project management tools that come in handy for this purpose. But, the best way to note down everything is to create an excel sheet with critical aspects such as project notes, assigning duration for each activity, and for planning and scheduling of work.
Gain your team’s confidence:
As a project manager, you should be able to gain your team’s confidence. If your team is unsure about the way you handle the project, then that can become the biggest hindrance. Do not become too tech-savvy by handling everything by a project management tool. It will only create more distance for you from your team members. You can gain your team’s confidence by listening to them, especially about project plan, risks and obstacles. All of this will help you to make informed decisions when you know your team’s capabilities.
Communicate and communicate even more…:
It is said that, 90% of project managers’ job role falls under communication. And having a great communication channel with your team is very essential to successfully complete the project. Not only with your team but having open communication channels with project customers, stakeholders and third party vendors is critical. In today’s time, there is lot of scope for social project management where social media plays a major role in day-to-day activities of project management. It is also very important to know each of your team member likes to communicate as this will prevent misunderstandings and allow you to seamlessly integrate technology to get the best out of your team with regards to communication.
Use the right project management tools:
The best way to ensure your team members stay excited about the project is by showing how passionate are you about this. You can turn to a simple project management tool such as Trello (you can choose which suits you and your team the best) to schedule work and see what your team members are doing with each aspect of your project with multiple dashboards.
Keyboard Shortcuts saves a lot of time:
You might find this point to be trivial, but some of the best project managers around the world are just good at keyboard shortcuts that save a lot of time. Using keyboard shortcuts for day-to-day activities such as for your email, web browser and other commonly used programs will gain you a good number of hours in the long run.
Careful delineation of job roles for team members:
As a project manager, it is your job to understand your team member’s strengths and weaknesses. Assigning a task to a wrong team member will reduce the chances of your project success. There should be proper delineation of job roles for each team member. Again here you can use a project management tool to delegate tasks, track them and evaluate them for your team. Proper delineation of job roles and a robust project management tool will help in effective task management.
Use a robust CRM system:
Many projects fail due to missing of deadlines on a regular basis. By missing deadlines, the project customer is bound to have a nightmare of an experience working with you, and will give a bad reputation for your organization and the team as well. Hence, having a robust customer relationship management (CRM) in place will do a world of good for project managers across the globe. An efficient CRM organizes everything from deliverables to deadlines so that you can stay on top of your tasks and see to that nothing is missed in a project.
Prepare for tech mishaps during the project:
As a project manager, do not procrastinate towards tech mishaps and think that these things may never happen in your project. It may be as small as spilling your coffee on your laptop, your email is down or your server site is down with natural disaster, all of these scenarios will consume lot of time. So, be prepared for tech mishaps with a robust system that keeps the back up of all the important information on multiple devices.
Create a comprehensive timeline:
Timelines are very critical for project. Abide by them and your project will run smooth and in case you mess it up and you will have a lot on your plate just to get the project back on track. It is for this reason Gantt Charts are so popular in the field of project management. It gives you simple readable timeline which shows the different stages of the project, where they overlap and when it gets completed. This helps everybody from project stakeholders, customers and the team to be on the same page and finish the project in a successful manner.
Creating a project autopsy report:
Successful project managers always look to improve their ways of handling a project. It is this zeal to continually improve their methods what makes them the best at what they do. And evaluating a project will help you to identify things that went well and what could have been done differently. This will also help you to evaluate project management tools and its performance, and the same can be repeated after each project to ensure best practices are evolved over a period of time.
It is important for project managers to constantly look for ways to improve. Project managers who include effective project management principles will provide a robust foundation upon which enterprises can meet the demands of this complex business landscape.
Also read: 6 Unexpected Project Manager Skills that Recruiters Look for