Managing people and projects is no easy undertaking. It is for this reason that people promoted to management positions are often required to take management training courses so that they can learn how to effectively handle resources. And while you’ll learn a lot about the proper way to supervise your team of employees and get them to do the work assigned and meet deadlines, as well as how to work within company guidelines for appropriate office interactions, the truth of the matter is that actual, day-to-day operations can be a bit different from the scenarios outlined in training courses. But when you strive to develop a few key characteristics, your ability to effectively manage projects will improve. Here are the essentials.
- If you can’t tell people what you want and find a way to hear what they need to tell you, you’re going to have a hard time seeing projects through to completion. Communication is the key to effective project management, so you need to learn how to convey your wants and needs in a concise manner, as well as listen to and incorporate information passed along by those you’re working with, including your employees, contractors, clients, and bosses.
- If you’ve been moved up into a management position because you excelled at your former job, you might be used to doing all the work yourself. This will not fly when you move into a position where you are responsible for managing others. Your primary concern is, of course, that the job gets done. But second to that is making sure that the people under you are doing their part. After all, they’re the ones who were hired to perform specific tasks based on their education, talent, and experience. So you have to learn how to delegate rather than doing everything yourself if you want to be an effective project manager.
- There are a lot of moving parts involved in any professional project and your job revolves around creating and executing a schedule, sticking to a budget, assigning tasks, and overseeing the project to completion. This requires a degree of organization that allows you to juggle many balls without dropping any.
- Interest in technology. Tech is your friend when it comes to project management and the right software can make your job a lot easier. Look for a program like Knowify that allows you to digitally input and manage the budget, the schedule, task assignments, milestones, reports, and more, as well as coordinate assets, resources, clients, and so on.
- As a project manager, it’s easy to get hung up on deadlines. And truly, you are on the spot to deliver. But you also have to understand that things happen. Tasks can take longer than anticipated, clients can change their minds, and unexpected snafus can occur. You have to be flexible and roll with the punches so that you can adjust accordingly and successfully deliver a completed project on time.