May 24th, 2017 in Project Management
For you as a new project manager there are tough challenges ahead, but nothing that can’t be overcome. So we decided to tally up 4 tips from our experience and mistakes that we think can help you move the project along smoothly.
Understand Project Details
One of the snags that new project managers find themselves in early on is, that they don’t take the time to really understand and internalize the project details. A key part of making sure that the project is built on a solid foundation and with the buy-in from all the stakeholders is to understand the project details so you can get the proper message across to the stakeholders and plan the project with a required understanding of the information related to the project.
Additionally, before starting the project you need analyze the team and resources available to you for the project. Last but not least, analyze the goals of the project, deadlines and how the success of the project will be calculated at all stages.
Discuss Challenges & Roadblocks
Every project is going to have challenges and roadblocks, discuss them openly with your team and strategies to minimize the risk. If these challenges and roadblocks are looked at before the project actually hits a roadblock it will save a significant amount of time, because of the strategy you and your team have in place to mitigate the risk. It happens way too often that project managers start to look for a solution in panic once they hit a roadblock when they could have analyzed challenges and risks of the project beforehand. Ultimately it ends up costing a significant amount of time and adds to the cost of the project. Don’t wait till there is a problem, have a strategy in place in anticipation of it, it will save you a lot of headache down the road.
Don’t Pretend to know everything
It’s okay that you don’t know everything from the day one, learn from the knowledge your team members have in their respective areas of expertise. The worse thing you can do is pretend you know everything about the project from the very beginning, because of it, you will make ill-informed decisions that will cost the project. These decisions will only push your team members who are experts in their area to come to a conclusion that you don’t actually know what you are doing. This can lead to loss of trust in you as a manager from your team. Talk to your team and learn from what they know and let them help you, you will learn over time and expand your knowledge but day one is not the day to pretend. Take it as an opportunity to learn, if you make a mistake learn from it and move on. You are only going to get better at it over time.
There is always a temptation to take on all the responsibility to get the desired results when it’s your first time. The only signal this can give is that you don’t trust your team to do those tasks and you think you can do everything. It is important that you feel comfortable with your team and develop a trusting relationship with them for the long-term success of the project. Analyze each of your team member’s strength and weaknesses and delegate the task accordingly. Delegation is one of the key pillars of project management and delegation will test your leadership skills because it will be your responsibility to break the tasks down, assign the right task to right team member, set deadlines, make sure the team is taking ownership of tasks and follow up to see the progress. Delegation is a big part of the puzzle, make it your priority.
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