Being A Better Project Manager

Last Updated: 

October 24, 2023

A lot of people fall into the role of project manager by accident. They never planned to get into project management, and they weren’t originally employed to do project work, but somehow they have found themselves leading and directing projects as part of their role. If this sounds familiar, we have five tips that will help you on your career journey.

Key Takeaways on Becoming a Better Project Manager:

  • Project Management Training: Enhance your skills by enrolling in a project management course. You'll learn valuable methodologies and gain a transferable qualification.
  • Honest Promises: Avoid over-promising. Respect from executives comes from being direct and realistic about what can be achieved.
  • Milestone Planning: Master the creation of milestone plans. Breakdown large projects into manageable chunks, and sequence these for a high-level, timeline-based plan.
  • Customer-centric Focus: Always aim to deliver exactly what your client needs and add value to their company throughout the project.
  • Team Collaboration: Avoid planning in isolation. Collaborate with your team for better ideas and to foster a sense of engagement and motivation.
Want to Close Bigger Deals?

1. Take a project management training course

There is only one place to begin, and this is with taking one of the available project management courses to enhance your project management skills. There are many different options available, including online courses and quick five-day courses. This will help you to have a more structured approach to project management. You will learn different techniques and methodologies that you can use in order to manage projects better. Plus, you will gain a qualification. Project management qualifications look great on a CV, especially as they indicate skills that are transferable and beneficial in a wide number of jobs.

When interviewing candidates for project manager positions, it is crucial to ask the right project managers interview questions to assess their abilities and suitability for the role. This allows the interviewer to evaluate the candidate's organisational skills and ability to navigate complex situations. By asking these project manager interview questions, employers can effectively evaluate a candidate's project management expertise and determine the best fit for their organisation. To become a more effective leader in your organisation, it's important to continuously improve your skills and knowledge.

Embracing agile methodologies can significantly enhance your project management skills. For those looking to delve deeper into agile practices, it's beneficial to Become a Certified Scrum Master. This certification equips you with the tools and knowledge to lead agile teams effectively and can prepare you to take on the role of coach - to help your team implement the principles of self-organisation, cross-functionality, and continuous improvement, and shield - to protect your team from external distractions and interruptions so that they can meet their goals.

You may want to look into emotional intelligence coaching and other specific areas of project management to hone in on certain skills.

2. Keep your promises

When it comes to project management, one thing that is easy to do is over-promise. When you have senior managers and stakeholders asking for ‘x, y, and z,’ you want to make sure you deliver. However, you should never agree to something that simply is not possible. Selling the hard truth will be rewarding in the end, as executives will respect you for being direct and putting your foot down.

3. Create a milestone plan

Creating a milestone plan is one of the most crucial skills you should master early on. After all, let’s say you have a year to build an e-store. You can’t just say in 12 months the store will be ready. You need to break this down into smaller chunks. So, how do you do this? Firstly, you will need to gather the full project team, so that you can brainstorm everything. Once you have done this, you should have around eight to 12 milestones that cover the entire project. You should then sequence these milestones so that you have a high-level plan that flows from left to right with a timeline at the top.

4. Focus on the needs of your customer

It is important to remember that your goal is always to deliver exactly what your client needs and to add value to their company throughout the project. It can be easy to lose sight of this with everything else that is going on.

5. Don’t do everything on your own

Last but not least, one of the biggest mistakes that almost all project managers make is believing that they need to plan everything on their own. This could not be further from the truth. If you plan in isolation, you will cut yourself off from some of the best thinking from your team, and you will alienate yourself. Instead, planning with the team ensures that everyone is engaged and it motivates everyone to work together for the good of the project.

So there you have it – five top tips for anyone that has ended up in a project management role by accident. If you follow the advice that has been mentioned above, it will feel like you have had your sights set on being a project manager your entire life.

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