Great project managers are a valuable asset to organizations. Today, more people have been thrown into the role of project manager without the experience or knowing what they are doing. For those new to project management, this can be an overwhelming experience and leave them having to wear a variety of hats and developing new skill sets.
Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for ways to improve your managing style, here are 5 important tips from experts to help you become a better project manager:
1. Practice self awareness and accept constructive criticism. Project management is very result driven, and many times you as a project manager aren’t given feedback or don’t take time to listen to constructive criticism. The key to becoming a better project manager—or anything else—is to not get set in your ways and instead take time to practice being more self aware and welcoming feedback where you can learn and improve.
2. Be prepared for anything. Every project comes will run into its own challenges, the key is to be prepared for anything. This will come with experience, but with each project take some time to pause and reflect, looking at areas where you could have improved on and what you could have done to “work smarter.” The more you learn from past and current projects, the better you’ll be able to prepare and anticipate for problem in the future.
3. Learn from other project managers. Find a mentor, watch webinars, take online courses, attend a conference, and engage in project manager networks to learn from other project managers. What are they doing and how can you implement some of their strategies in your own managing style? You can learn a lot by comparing notes and seeing how they handled a problem.
4. Encourage collaboration within your team. To be a great project manager, help you team succeed by collaborating with them to solve a problem. Encourage your team to share their ideas, brainstorm, and see what you can do to help them find a solution. Sometimes, the role of project manager is not to solve problems, but assist your team in coming up with solutions, collectively.
5. Make the most of your team meetings. No one loves meetings, nor really has time for them, so it’s important you make team meetings short and efficient. Hold standup meetings (lasting no longer than 10 minutes) to touch on action points of the project, get updates, and see where people are running into problems. By focusing on these areas, everyone sees where the project is headed, who is accountable for which task, and makes you aware of problems so you can deal with them before they become out of hand.
If you want more ideas and tips for how you can improve your project management, check out Workfront’s article, How To Be a Project Manager: 81 Tips from PM Experts.
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