Ten Tips for Being a Better Project Manager

Successful project management depends not only on what you do, but on how you do it.  A project manager’s attitudes and behaviours toward people affect how they respond. The ten tips here can help you win people’s support. So why not read on ?

  • Be a “Why” Person: Look for the reasons behind requests and actions. Understanding why helps you make sure you respond appropriately to team members, senior managers and all other project audiences (which in turn , increases people’s motivation and buy in).
  • Be a “Can Do” Person: Look at all problems as challenges, and do everything you can to find ways to overcome them. Be creative, flexible and tenacious.
  • Think in detail: Be thorough. If you don’t think through your project’s issues, who will? The more clearly you describe your intended results, the more easily people can recognise the benefits associated with your project. Also the more clearly you define your intended work, the more often people will ask important and insightful questions. Clarify leads to increased personal motivation and reduced chances of mistakes.
  • Assume cautiously: Take the time to find out the facts, use assumptions only as a last resort. With every assumption comes a risk that you’re wrong. The fewer assumptions you make, the more confidence you can have in your plan.
  • View people as allies, not adversaries: Focus on common goals, not individual agendas. Making people feel comfortable encourages brainstorming, creative thinking and the willingness to try new ideas, all of which are essential to managing a successful project.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say: Tell people what you want them to know, what you want them to do and what you’ll do form them. Don’t leave these details up to their imaginatons. Being vague increases the chances for misunderstandings and mistakes.
  • Respect other people: Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. In each person on your team, find a qualit that you can respect. People work harder and enjoy their work more when they’re around others who appreciate them and their efforts.
  • Acknowledge good performance: When someone does something good, tell them, tell their boss, tell other team members and tell their peers that you appreciate their efforts and its results. Recognising good performance confirms to a person the accuracy and value of their work; your praise tells a person that you appreciate their efforts, which motivates them to work with you and other team members on future projects. Be sure to provide feedback promptly, don’t wait weeks or months before recognising someone for their hard work.
  • Be a manager and a leader: Attend to people as well as to information, processes and systems. Create and share your vision and excitement with your team members, but dont forget to share a sense of order and efficiency too. Encourage people to strive for outstanding results and provide the guidance and support to help them achieve those results.
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By Dr Hanna Dickenson

Managing Director of Dickenson Consulting Ltd.
Biopharmaceutical/Pharmaceutical Project Management & Outsourcing/Contractor Management

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