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Tips For New Project Managers

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It does not matter on the size or scope of the project you have in hand. If you want to ensure that the project will succeed, the processes you need to go through are the same. There is no point in thinking that, oh, it’s only a small project, it will be ok.

In fact, sometimes the smaller projects can give you the biggest headaches, simply because you did not initially give it the respect it deserves. In this world, there are no quick and easy ways to get the project from A to B, if you want it to be a complete success. So, with that in mind, here are some things to think about. 

Communicate

This is an essential element of any project. You need to be proactive and speak to all the relevant parties to gather a wide a range of opinions and facts as possible. If you do not communicate, you will never really know what it is you need to do, let alone complete it to the satisfaction of all involved. You will also need to engage in regular catch up sessions and let people know that progress.

It is vital that any issues get raised along the way, not left until the end. That means that you need to keep the lines of communication open. It must be contactable at all times, whether that be via phone, text, email, whatever. All stakeholders in the project may need to advise you on something at some stage. So be open and ensure all parties know how to contact you.

Understand the project

This works hand in hand with the communication side as you need information from as many sources as possible. But to ensure that the project is a success, you have to fully and completely understand it. To do this, you will need to write a complete project plan, detailing everything from start to finish.

You have to consult with stakeholders, and build a picture in your mind of priority, ordering, and what can and cannot be done under certain budget, timescale, and even spatial constraints. Once you know what’s happening, you need to manage the expectations of all the key players concerned. 

Use people effectively

A project, especially a large project, will need lots of different people working in many different areas at the same time. You need to know the people in the company who can be relied upon to do what they do best.

This means you need to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Being an effective project manager is about understanding people and managing them. You may also have to recruit firms from outside too.

This means you will need to enter into discussion with people in the know. If your project is starting your own business, for example, you need to be realistic with yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? It may be wise to recruit vat consultancy services to deal with that financial side. A project relies on the people who work on it.   

PM Today Contributor
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