Project managers are essential to the success of many enterprises around the world. Their expertise generally tends to lie in organising and supervising the activity of others, something that actually is much harder than it sounds. Especially for novice project managers, the task of coordinating an entire team of people, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, can be a true challenge. Luckily, with some willpower and patience you can gradually grow into the role. In fact, your period of adjustment will be that much shorter if you just follow the next five principles:
Your first step towards gaining the loyalty of the men and women under your command lies in showing them the utmost respect. Some of your team members may be more experienced than you, others less so, but all are deserving of equal treatment in the eyes of a good project manager. Listening to their opinions and encouraging a high level of engagement on their part is the key to unlocking their potential.
That being said, project managers rarely get anything done just by being nice all the time. Keep in mind that your role is that of an authority figure, someone who has to make all the hard calls and take responsibility for his team’s actions. To that end, do not tolerate insubordination or laziness, and try to instil a sense of self-responsibility in everyone you coordinate.
Use dedicated software
In recent years, all sorts of project management tools have cropped up that aim to help a budding project manager conduct his business better. Dedicated programs like the Celoxis software can help you keep track of everything, thereby becoming an essential ally in your quest to get things done. In this day and age, enterprise PM pretty much requires a software component due to its inherent complexity, so don’t shy away from investing in professional software at an early stage.
Although it may seem like it sometimes, no one should ever have to do everything by themselves. Learning how to properly delegate is an essential part of any manager’s day-to-day activity, and it also enables your subordinates to act on their own and take pride in what they do. Of course, the flipside is also true. Any project manager that wants to earn the respect of his team needs to be able to get his hands dirty whenever it is necessary.
Continuously develop yourself
Just because you’ve climbed the rung and reached a good management position doesn’t mean your prospects for growth have ceased. There will invariably be new things to learn, new experiences to seek. To that end, always be on the lookout for training opportunities such as seminars and courses, and don’t be afraid to invest in your continuous betterment as a manager and as a person.
As you can see, there are many facets of being a good project manager. Like with most jobs, it generally takes a few years before you really learn the ropes of the trade, so try to be patient with yourself in the beginning. And remember that being granted the position of shepherding any given project is quite the privilege, one that you should always strive to honor.