As a project manager you must master multiple skills, from the preparation and planning of a project, to controlling and maintaining momentum to see it through to a successful conclusion. Keeping on top of everything and making sure you utilize all relevant tools available, will help in keeping you organised. Here are some areas you’ll need to be adept at to be a great project manager.
Managing the Budget
Firstly, as a project manager you will need to carefully consider the budget of the project to in order to maintain cost control avoid expensive overruns. Watch the budget like a hawk and keep a close eye on projected costs either using your project management application or a spreadsheet. Regularly communicate with stakeholders and manage their expectations to avoid nasty shocks (see below).
Managing Your Team
Managing a project team can be a challenge, particularly if you have team members working from multiple locations, but how you do it can mean the difference between success or failure. It is important that as a project manager you motivate and encourage your team throughout the project to get the desired outcome. With the role of project manager comes the responsibility of taking the final decision on sometimes challenging questions. If you can, back your decisions up with data analysis or other evidence to avoid conflicts.
Managing Delivery and Communication
Great communicate is essential to the success of any projects. Keep in constant contact with the client or stakeholders, updating them on the project status and to gather regular feedback. As Ben Aston, a digital project manager and VP of Client Services at FCV put it on thedigitalprojectmanager.com I wish my project manager would stop giving me so many project updates – said no client, ever”. Be clear in your communications with both the team and client to ensure no mix-ups occur throughout the project.
Before starting a new project put a plan together with clear milestones to ensure a timely completion. Once the project has started there may need to be adjustments made to the plan but it is crucial to still stick to the completion deadline. Try to stay a few steps ahead of the project plan and where possible build in some flexibility for unforeseen circumstances. Make sure that you know the timelines of all tasks, milestones and dependencies to keep your project running smoothly.
Margaret Kelly, Marketing Assistant based at K2 Partnering Solutions HQ in London.