Regardless of profession – whether you develop commercial real estate, plan community events, create software programs, or lead a non-profit – if you’re in a position of managing a team, here are some ABCs to consistently increase your effectiveness as a project manager.
Assign tasks. This may seem obvious, but it is more than a simple practice – it is fundamental to being an effective project manager. The best project managers send out team emails routinely summarizing the tasks that each team member has agreed to and the upcoming deadlines. Keeping a calendar is not only for your own thoroughness – ensuring that you anticipate all project elements and hurdles – but keeps your team thinking around the corner to the unexpected.
Be direct. When obstacles arise – and they always do! – being direct with your team and your client is paramount. Keep the lines of communication open and never be afraid to admit fault. If you remember that the client and his or her goals are the priority, ego and discomfort in uncomfortable situations quickly become secondary.
Contact is necessary. In this age of technology, we are often tempted to do everything remotely via email and phone. But there is no substitute for in-person interaction. Although not always possible in this global business community, having in-person team meetings can be critical to a project’s success. The unanticipated often comes out when working through a problem as a group. Plus, the team collaboration can lead to increased productivity and transparency, which carries beyond the meeting itself throughout the life of the project.
Maintaining strong focus, communication, and structure while grinding through the details of a project is not easy. But incorporating these techniques regularly can ease the challenge and help to define you as a top-flight, comprehensive project manager.