If you have just embarked on a career in project management, it is important that you lead your team effectively and successfully. The role you play can be the difference between project success and failure. Of course, all project managers make mistakes, and learning from them is the most important step. But, to ensure your career gets off to a flying start, follow these top tips:
- Communication – One thing you will have learnt during project management training is that communication is key. You are going to be communicating with a range of different people throughout the project lifecycle, and you need to know how to do so effectively, be it the client or the stakeholders. You need to express feedback, responsibility, performance, and expectations in a clear and concise manner, so that it harvests real results.
- Learn to share the load – As a new project manager, it can be even more tempting to try and do everything yourself. However, part of being a successful leader is knowing when and how to delegate. The worst thing you can do is spread yourself too thin; you need to trust in your team and their capabilities. Trust is an essential ingredient, and so you should demonstrate your trust in your team by leaving them to complete the tasks you have set.
- Never stop learning – You may have already attained one or several project management qualifications. But you should never stop learning. There are always new techniques and methodologies to discover. Plus, a simple refresher now and again can help you to regain focus.
- Maintain your enthusiasm – Whenever you start a new job, you feel enthusiastic and full of energy. This often starts to dwindle as the job moves forward. However, the key to success is learning how to maintain this level of enthusiasm. If you have positive and a can-do attitude, then your team will adopt a similar approach. On the other hand, if you are negative and have little energy for the project, then your team won’t put in as much effort either.
- Learn from your mistakes – As mentioned in the introduction, we all make mistakes, and a project manager is no different. There are going to be times when you get the schedule wrong or you give a task to the wrong person. Don’t allow it to bring you down, but equally, don’t simply ignore the error either. Recognise where you have gone wrong so that you can improve for the next project.
If you follow the five tips mentioned above, you can get off to a great start in the world of project management. You have chosen a career that is exciting yet challenging. No two days are going to be the same, so embrace it and enjoy it, and your team will follow suit. Don’t get bogged down by the mistakes you have made, never stop learning, communicate effectively, and make sure you delegate tasks to your team and trust them to complete these tasks to the standard you would.