Being in charge of a project can be really stressful and challenging and not everyone is up for it. Despite being on a position of a manager or simply being chosen to lead the project, it does not mean that it comes easy or straightforward. Depending on the project there are many different aspects to consider and multiple roles to assign. Then there are projects that you will be dealing with alone like presentations, speeches, or something around the house. All of these require certain management skills that would help you organize and prepare things better so that when the time comes to do them you have all you need set out and ready.
An average person goes to numerous projects throughout their life, both in their professional life and in private. What is common for all of them is the fact that they need to be approached in a tactical way and remain well-managed throughout. Only after they are done can you take a step back, appreciate it, and relax. In an effort to help you and make you a better project manager no matter the actual project, we decided to shape this article as a guide and bring to you the processes and things that can sharpen your skills.
Managerial skills are something we all need for the future so keep on reading to learn how best to hone them. If you want to find out even more about increasing your business skills and becoming a better professional, make sure to check out www.mesgroup.asia.
If you have a project to take care of, it probably means that you are the main person on it. It goes without saying if it is a solo project, but more often than not it will not be. Therefore, if you are already the top individual in the group, you will only have more responsibility and work. It is in these situations that your leadership role has to shine and when you have to show your colleagues and team members you are up for it. Leadership styles vary and so do the ways to motivate and help your peers.
Delegating tasks is certainly step one, but do not forget to take control if you feel like you can contribute in certain stages. Managing and leading are also two different concepts. Managing alone is making sure that established processes are followed to the fullest until the project is done. Leadership is much more “hands-on” and requires management skills and emotional intelligence. You have to empower and inspire your team by being the one who works the most and the hardest in order to be a true leader.
Projects consist of multiple stages, multiple people working different things, and perhaps even multiple sub-teams that do not often see each other. To ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal at all times, communication has to be on the highest level possible. As a manager, your communication skills and the means you use to talk and stay in touch with everyone involved have to be present.
External parties, stakeholders, higher-ups of all sorts, contractors, vendors, you are the link between all of them and your team. Transferring information both ways will fall on your shoulders so effective communication is crucial. Enhancing it within the team and focusing on having a fluent flow of data and feedback needs to happen.
3. Scheduling and Time Management
Managing time and creating schedules is an important skill of any worker, let alone a project manager who needs to pay attention where everyone and everything is. Even regular workers have to possess some sort of basic scheduling and time management skills if they are to properly and optimally work on projects without problems.
The simplest of tasks will be difficult to perform if there is no clear, proper schedule to follow and enough time on the team members’ hands. Task prioritization, progress tracking, and reminders are all things that can help you better organize everything time-wise. If you need help, you can always ask your team for help and appoint somebody to keep track of schedules and shifts.
4. Risk Assessment and Mitigation
There aren’t always huge risks to take into consideration and make sure to avoid. Not all projects have risks, but what is a risk anyway and how should a manager deal with them? A risk can be anything that can potentially jeopardize the optimal completion of project in any way. Anything can go wrong, from a power outage that will render you unavailable to work to sudden pay cuts or job cuts.
Whatever it may be, it will be your job as the leader of the project to take control of things and have an elaborate plan that would combat risks in case they truly happen. Identifying potential risks along the way is a skill good managers have. Noticing something before it occurs and coming up with a quick and effective way to mitigate it is what you should aim for.
5. Negotiation Skills
Of course, as a manager or projects, you will need to negotiate with different parties, with your bosses and CEOs, and your subordinates. Stand your ground, be firm, and have facts and stats by your side. If you need something to change, ask for it and let it be known. Hold regular meetings and take care of expiring deadlines and contracts on time so that everyone is on the same page and that you do not have to schedule additional negotiations.
Compromising is also needed as you will not always be able to hold firmly to your demands and offer no room for the other side to work with it. Coming up with situations where you will get what you want is a fine skill that takes more than words and the right approach. Convincing the other side that they will get something out of the new deal. Middle ground is the thing you are looking for, not superiority or subordination.