There is very little that is easy about being a project manager – always so much that needs to be done and often not a whole lot of time to do it. The tasks that come with the managerial position, however, are integral to the business as a whole and must be completed come what may. There are many skills that one should possess before volunteering to lead a project or applying for a managerial position.
1. Be ready for change
Change is absolutely one thing that cannot be avoided when it comes to a project. There is bound to be something every day that throws a wrench into the situation. Factors can include money – suddenly the budget has changed and the undertaking now needs to be completed in the same amount of time with less funding. Another obstacle may be shifting team members – for whatever reason, employees move to a different department or are no longer available to help finish the project. One of the most difficult challenges is timeframe. The deadline got moved up a week? Better make sure everything is in place for the new deployment date!
The important thing to keep in mind is that, yes, change in inevitable in all things, but true success is found when one can face those changes and accommodate them to fit the new situation at hand. According to CIO, a project manager should be able face continual change and roll with the punches.
2. Relinquish some responsibilities
People who choose to take on managerial roles often find that they work better when busy. However, being a project manager means that there are other people available to get the job done. While delegating duties might be difficult, a different CIO article asserted that a project will go much more smoothly if a manager doesn't overdo his or her job or micro-manage the other team members.
Give employees specific jobs to do with clear outlines, expectations, deadlines, etc. – whatever the team needs to complete the tasks the way the PM wants them done. That way, it's almost as if the manager is doing the task him- or herself, but the PM can go on knowing that there will be places to exert power elsewhere.
3. Form strong partnerships
A project manager is only as strong as his or her team. It's imperative to build strong bonds between managers and team members, as initial impressions could affect the way projects are managed and implemented in the future. It's not only important to have an inter-team bond, but the team should also have a solid foundation connecting to other parts of the office – other managers, functional experts, a graphics team, the list is endless. These relationships will undoubtedly lead to smoother project transactions in the future.
For those wishing to move into a project manager position or for seasoned managers who simply wish to refine their skills, a training seminar might be the ticket to success. Projects can be stressful for an entire office, but having the confidence of an empowered manager at the helm will make the sailing that much smoother.