What Could a Project Manager Learn From Children?

This might be the oddest topic you’ve ever come across, right? What can project managers and children really have in common? Well, at first glance, there’s obviously nothing in common. However, a deeper look can actually teach you a few lessons. In fact, if you observe how parents deal with children, you can actually come across some golden strategies that can also be applied in the area of project management. Here are a few ideas we can think of right away.

Create a Back Up Plan

If you’re a parent, you know how things can get completely unpredictable with children. For instance, remember those moments when you had to go out of the house with your kids and forgot to take an extra pair of diapers, just in case. Yup! Every parent has had that moment etched into their memory.

But, what did you learn from it? Of course, you got to learn never to leave the house without a few extras for the little one.

That’s exactly how project management works too. Things can get unpredictable and problems can crop up anytime and anywhere. In this case, your Risk Log is your extra set of diapers. Join your team and work with them to keep a track of risks. Discuss mitigation strategies and work together to implement them. Develop contingency plans for potential risks.

Learn to Let things Go

As parents, we tend to be extra protective about our children; we want what’s best for them. However, that can turn into a toxic habit. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself dictating every move that they make. Unnecessary restrictions can actually hinder a child’s healthy growth. Project management can turn into something similar. So, stop micromanaging.

In order to get your team to deliver their best, you have to let them go. Of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t monitor them. It’s your duty as manager to make sure they channel their efforts towards achieving the intended results. But, do allow them to create their own solutions, manage their schedule and communicate with the client. This will result in a much happier team and more importantly, a good product. Teams have been known to function better when they are a given a certain level of freedom. Plus, this will give you more time to focus on other projects and put in efforts towards portfolio management and developing the business.

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