Being a project manager is definitely not easy. Some project managers make it look that way, but that is because they had to learn by making a lot of mistakes along the way.
If you want to be a rockstar project manager, you need to focus on continual improvement. Here are some important resolutions that you make in 2018 to up your game.
Be More Receptive to Uncomfortable Feedback
Nobody wants to hear negative feedback, especially from their subordinates. It can be tempting to discourage them from sharing feedback that you don’t want to hear.
This isn’t going to make you a better project manager. The only way to grow is by listening to constructive criticism and taking it to heart.
You don’t necessarily need to follow everybody’s advice, but you need to at least consider the possibility that they have valid points.
A recent poll by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 38% of employees felt that when leaders dismiss their ideas without entertaining them, they tend to lack initiative.
As a project manager, your job is to lead a team toward a common goal. Take the time to not only listen to your team’s feedback but also to find ways to implement their good ideas.
Reassess Project Milestones
You probably set milestones for all of your projects. Do you revisit those milestones throughout the project? Do the milestones you set before starting the project even make sense now?
You will face a number of changes over the life of a project. Some assumptions you made prior to kickoff may now look obsolete or client expectations could evolve as things progress.
As a project manager you should set check points at different periods in the project to reassess your milestones and decide if changes need to be made.
Transition to a Better Team-based Communication Platform
You won’t believe how many project managers still coordinate all communication through email. This is a huge mistake, because email is unquestionably one of the least efficient communication mediums for large projects.
If you are still using email to handle all communication, then it is time to up your game to a project management solution.
Platforms like Wrike specialize in project management for digital teams. From task management to real time editing and file management, this tool is a game changer for team productivity.
Identify Your Largest Sources of Waste
Every project has inefficiencies that lead to wasted time, money, and resources. Project managers are not only responsible for keeping a team focused and on task but also to manage the project budget.
Every single inefficiency can’t be avoided but you can mitigate these by putting checks and balances in place that don’t slow down the team.
Estimate the ROI of Different Tools
The tools that your team uses make a big impact on productivity and cost. Some tools have a much better return on their investment than others.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine how useful they will be for your team ahead of time. Some tools have received excellent reviews and offer exceptional value to other teams. That doesn’t mean that they will align with your specific needs.
Take inventory of the different tools you have been using. Try to gauge the monetary value that they added to your team’s bottom line.
You will also want to evaluate new tools and see whether they are compatible with your team’s needs. Try to gauge the future ROI that they will offer.
Get Other Team Members More Involved in Client Communications
All too often, project managers conduct almost all communication with the client themselves. They then convey their conversation with their team.
This creates the “telephone game” effect where a message is passed from person to person where it changes a little every time.
When the team isn’t very involved in the discussions, they don’t have a detailed understanding of the client’s expectations.
Key team members should be in direct communication with the client so they have a full picture of the project, expectations, and timing.
Teams should be encouraged to ask the client for clarification on elements pertaining to their specific duties which the project manager may not think to ask.
What project management resolutions are you making this year?
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