Project Management Tips for 2019
What has been said about this topic that we don’t already know? I mean, simply Google “Project management tools for 2019” and you’ll get an array of tools and software apps that swear they are the best. They promise that they will organise your team, make you more productive, accelerate your workflow, as well as acquire and retain your current clients. Which is all well and great, but how do I go about choosing the right system for me or, better yet, how do I make the most out of the system that I currently have?
They say that the software is only part of the reason, the other part is the user- yeah, that means you. So how do you go about making the system work for the team? Well, I think this is a tricky question for any project manager to answer. What I’ve found in my experience is that you need to find a system that compliments the type of worker that you are.
There are many different types of systems available. You can find anything from an admin-based system that allows you take control of tickets and workflow, to a fully automated system that requires little to no admin but lacks the ability to be customised to your required needs. Let's admit it, unless you develop your own system, no system will ever be just right for you. So, focus instead on making one of them work for you.
You need to at least have some skills in place to make the system work and ensure that the team is more productive without hating the system they need to use. Remember, being a great project manager is not only about ensuring that the scheduling, production and communication of the team is well taken care of. Here are my top tips for being the best project manager you can be.
- Listen to your team
You ensured that you have the right team for the job, so why would you not listen to their insights and suggestions? They have knowledge on what system/method works for them because, guess what, they’re the ones using it. Hear what they have to say and try to implement whatever changes you can. Be on their side and you will be greatly rewarded.
- Document everything
This is a big one. Make sure you have a paper trail of all changes and agreements with your clients and the team - from emails to meeting notes and contracts. AND, make sure to file them correctly or make them easily accessible to the relevant parties. This will come in handy if it’s ever your word against theirs. Apart from that, it’s also vital when it comes to keeping track of all the directions given to the team. Make sure you have your bases covered.
- Add a buffer
So, the team has estimated that it would take them 3 days to complete a milestone- as the project manager, you should know better and consider that things always come up. Life will squeeze itself in and, before you know it, 3 days quickly turn into 5 days. Always ensure that you add a one to two day buffer for all of your project deadlines. It's all about that well known line- “Under promise, over deliver".
I know these aren't your usual project management habits of success, but they are just as important. Plus, I figured you already know what you are doing, you just need a boost right?