6 Things that Successful Project Managers do

Project management doesn’t end with handing out responsibilities and organizing meetings. Nor should it mean you are the one fixing the tiniest of issues that crop up. Good project managers know how to enable, empower and manage their teams to efficiently deliver business driven goals.

Have a business driven approach

A great project manager doesn’t just need good business acumen, he needs to be business focused. Motivated by the strategy of the organization and aligned to customer needs. Understanding business drivers helps project managers achieve better success rates. Ensure you completely understand project objectives. Identify risks upfront. Have plans in place to limit risk and action plans to manage each eventuality. Periodically review.

Oversee, don’t micromanage

While it can be tempting to get involved in the details, a good project manager steers clear, instead focusing on the bigger picture. Have regular meetings so you are in the loop but do not get into the nitty gritty. Put the right people on the job and don’t second guess them.

Set systems in place, don’t be afraid to use tools

Online project management tools are an effective way to monitor the team and milestones. Know what technology tools are available and pick the right software for your needs. Ensure you know the system inside out and use it to improve project efficiency and timeliness. Remember, collaborative software can’t do your job for you. A good project manager doesn’t substitute tools for human interaction. Use it as a complementary tool.

Set clear goals, hold people accountable

Set regular milestones that act as markers to tell you when your project goes off track. This allows you to correct course before things flare up. Clearly set out responsibilities from the start and don’t leave room for speculation. When something goes wrong, a successful project manager knows exactly who to hold accountable. Monitor and take action when needed.

Be assertive

There is nothing worse than a project manager who doesn’t have the respect of his team. Being able to assert yourself in meetings with stakeholders is vital. If you need to push back on unrealistic time-lines or expectations of senior management, you must be able to do so. Resolving challenges during a project requires firm, decisive action. Don’t sit back and wait for a solution to present itself.

Get everyone on board

Having the buy-in of all stakeholders is central to project success. Work your interpersonal skills to the bone. Ensure team members have healthy working relationships. Establish a good rapport up and down the chain. Play on people’s strengths and give them guidance when needed. Cultivate an atmosphere that is open and where communication is encouraged. This will reduce chances of a problem going unreported and will help you be more responsive to the customer.

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