When you are managing a big project, your nice, clean desktop is replaced with an overwhelming amount of sticky notes, reminders, and spilled coffee. Balancing everything that goes into a project is tricky, so it’s helpful to have some tips and tricks in your pocket to help you out along the way (and get rid of all those extra sticky notes).
Here are five ways to be a better project manager.
Communication is always an answer. And as a project manager, it’s a necessary part of any project. Not only do you need to communicate with your team, but you need to communicate with the client or the boss who created the project. You need to understand the project guidelines and effectively communicate those guidelines to the individuals working on the project. It’s important that everyone involved is always updated and in the loop about progress, problems, and direction, and as the project manager, the line of communication largely depends on you.
Motivate Your Team
From the very beginning, you have to motivate your team to get excited and be ready to tackle the project and whatever problems come your way. It is harder to keep individuals motivated during longer projects, so it’s a good idea to get the team motivated in the very beginning so that they have something to fall back on. As the project manager, you should encourage and recognize your team members and remind them why the project is important. Follow some of these tips in another post to keep your team motivated as the project moves forward.
Have a Clear Direction and Time Frame
And it should be a direction that everyone involved knows. Effective project managers keep their team informed about where the project is heading and when the project is due. Deadlines and directions are two of the most important aspects of a project, meaning that they should not be a mystery for the rest of the team.
Use a Gantt Chart to Stay Organized
Use Gantt charts to keep your team updated about the previously mentioned directions and deadlines. Gantt charts are a project management tool that aligns all the individual tasks with time frames and assigns those tasks to certain members of the team. Gantt charts even make it clear what steps or tasks must be completed before another one can begin, making it easier to check on the progress of the tasks and keep track of who should be working on what. This will also save you from the thousand extra sticky notes lying on your desk.
Think Big Picture and in Detail
And do it at the same time. As a project manager, you not only need to ensure that individual aspects of the project are being met, but you also need to ensure that you are moving towards the end goal. You don’t want you or your team to waste time on tasks that steer you in the wrong direction or miss important details.
Managing a project is not easy, but you can use these tips and tricks to better handle all of the tasks and deadlines that come with every project.