Let’s be honest with ourselves, there are times when we don’t utilize our project team to their full potential. There could be many reasons for this. Maybe you didn’t have time to schedule properly, or maybe it’s just pure lack of experience. Regardless of the situation, you may not be managing your team as effectively as you could be. With that said, here are a few ways you can improve your management skills:
Clearly define the project scope
One of the worst things you can do that will set your team back is not communicate the project scope accurately. From the start, you should explain any methodology you’ll be using so that everyone has a clear understanding as to what the project has in store. This should typically be done in a face-to-face meeting, or a video call if you’re remote.
There are 7 main points to consider when defining a project scope:
- Project Goal
What do you want the outcome of the project to be? It could be a website launch or a product release. Nevertheless, define it and communicate it.
- Project Objectives
There are multiple objectives built within a single project. Use these objectives as stepping stones to guide you along the way.
- Project Stages
Project stages are milestones. On your timeline, you should draw out what each stage entails, its duration, and who’s contributing to a specific task.
The 6 letter word that has even the toughest of project managers shivering in their boots. Define the budget before the project even starts so that you have a good grasp on how much money needs to be spent. At the end of the project, you can compare your estimated budget to actual cost to help you better plan for future projects.
List any materials, outsourcing, and other resources necessary to the project. By doing this, you’ve done all the grunt work up front and will ideally avoid an unnecessary time crunch later.
Schedules make the project management world go around. Start the project off with a detailed schedule and avoid chaos later.
It’s important to note that scope creep can be a real issue if you fail to define the scope accurately. Typically, the best way to avoid this is to use the steps listed above, be as accurate as possible, and don’t hesitate when changes need to be made.
Break up big projects
Possibly one of the most effective managing techniques used today is to break projects up into sprints. At the end of each sprint, you have a milestone or a review period where you can go over what you’ve done, and what needs to be done next.
Let’s look at this in a different light. Mount Everest is the tallest peak on the planet. When a climber braves the dangerous hike, they don’t go from the bottom to the top in a single day. Instead, there are basecamps along the way. These basecamps are like milestones in the fact that you look forward to getting there for a rest and strategy review.
Of course, not every project is going to be an Everest, but it certainly helps to break them down into milestones to make it more manageable.
Toggl Plan offers a very helpful milestone feature that will be sure to make any project break down a breeze. It’s as simple as selecting a date on the timeline, and setting it as the milestone for that sprint.
Maintain constant communication
Communication is the key factor to success in any industry. Your job as a project manager is to make sure your team stays on track throughout the entire project. That can be hard to do if you don’t communicate with everyone frequently.
The best way to keep in touch regularly is to set time aside every day to specifically send emails, answer calls, and update information. Make it a routine to talk to your project team and give constant updates as the project moves forward. In return, ask your team to update you as often as possible.
Make sure absolutely all channels of communication remain open. It is dire to the project that you’re able to answer questions quickly so that everyone can move forward.
Encourage feedback and listen to what your team has to say. Leaving your door open for suggestions really lets your team know that they can come to you with any questions they have. Bottom line, make yourself as accessible to your team as possible.
Effectiveness can be defined as the degree to which something is successful in producing the desired outcome. That being said, there are many ways to achieve a desired outcome.
For a project manager, effectively managing your project team is the best way to ace any project. There are many strategies and techniques out there that may work very well for you and your team.
The best and last point we’ll go over is setting a good example. If you want your team to be successful and effective, then you must do the same. They look to you for guidance and answers before anyone else. You should take pride in that and make sure they’re walking down the path to success, just like you. Develop an unrivaled level of respect between yourself and the rest of your team, and they will do the same with each other.