Project management is one of the fastest-growing business verticals in the developed world today. Not only is it considered essential to organizational growth, but it also helps in overseeing timeliness, following plans and ensuring optimal implementation of strategies.
The Role of Project Managers
Most project managers are officially tasked with initiating, executing, planning, monitoring and closing projects through the project lifecycle. Project managers also oversee other minute details involved in project planning and implementation, including the pursuit of successful completion, monitoring project budgets, overseeing deliverables, being in touch with stakeholders and communicating expectations to stakeholders.
Such is the importance of the work project managers do that managers from other departments and verticals can also take a leaf out of their book and learn a couple of new things. You can learn a lot about strategizing, team management and implementation from project managers without having to do much with project management in your own job role.
Here are some of the best project management tips that experienced project managers have for non-project managers. These tips are tailored to the work setting of today and will expand your outlook on team and project management.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Project Management Methodologies
Regardless of whether you hold a background in project management or not, you can make some interesting headway into the industry by familiarizing yourself with the project management methodologies around you. These methodologies may oversee the successful implementation of projects and operations but can be useful in other facets of management as well.
Project management methodologies contain basic tools, processes, techniques and practices that are required to bring a task to successful completion in an efficient manner. It is no surprise now that these methodologies can be effectively applied in a number of industries without any problems.
Some of these methodologies include age-old words of wisdoms from pioneers in the industry. The methodologies you can start with include Waterfall approach, Kanban and Scrum to name a few. You can tailor the learning in these methodologies to your industry requirements and benefit in the long run.
2. Understand Your Goals
Almost all project managers with significant experience in the industry will not shy away from reiterating the importance of understanding your goals at work. Regardless of the department you oversee, one cannot minimize the importance of understanding your overall objectives and goals before diving into multiple tasks.
Once you understand the goals of a process and are well aware of the mission it is specified to achieve, you can say no to other influencers on the way. For example when you start working on a process you may face certain superiors and other supervisors who might want you to change the project’s direction. Now, if you understand the project objectives and have a comprehensive grasp over the goals, you may be able to tell whether the change in direction is indeed fruitful or just a diversion of sorts.
3. Keep an Eye on the Finish Line
Start like a marathon runner – always keep the finish line in your mind. If you understand the learning curve and continuously keep your eyes on the end goal, you will learn to remain true to it.
This is one aspects of project management that project managers learn to master over time and experience. It is something that also helps keep distractions and diversions at bay. However, to start with the end in mind, it is necessary you first understand the importance of the tip we have mentioned before this one. Understand the goal you have set, as confusion in this regards may divert you to a separate path.
4. Identify and Mitigate Risk
Risk management is extremely important for project management. Project managers develop risk management and mitigation strategies for every step of the project to minimize the chances of disruptions in their plans.
Risk is something that managers in every department and people from all walks of life face. Rather than putting up a meek fight for risk management, it is advisable for professionals to face the risk and learn from the experience of project managers. The key here is to identify your environment and set up a unique process that works best for you.
5. Learn how to Communicate
Project management has a personal side to it as well, which can help other professionals learn how to be considerate in their familial and professional dealings and also craft a communication strategy. It is important that professionals take out the time and effort to communicate effectively with their family and friends.
The scope of your work, the amount of energy and focus required and the deadlines you follow should be communicated to other stakeholders. This strategy will help you devise an understanding of the factors that limit your progress.
From a professional angle, project managers also don’t leg work bog them down. Schedules, working styles and other cultural preferences are duly communicated to other team members.
6. Recognize the Importance of Time
Time is the greatest resource you have and no one would know more about its importance than project managers. Project managers need to learn how to manage time effectively for successful project completion. There are a number of time management strategies that can be employed in your professional and personal lives to achieve success.
Having a well-defined time management strategy helps you maintain an effective work-life balance and also meet project deadlines on schedule. Communicating time delays or ETAs to stakeholders is also an important aspect of time management.
The skills associated with project management are highly transferable to other jobs and professionals. The tips and strategies passed on by experienced project managers above will help you streamline your management style in your non-project management job.