Going from being responsible for a few tasks in a project to being responsible for a team and all the deliverables in the project can seem like a big leap for any project manager. Though the beginning can seem full of growing pains, the good news is that the pains of project management do not have to be so harsh. Despite the fact that it can be a difficult transition, by taking the necessary steps, all new project managers can lead successful projects without a problem. Here are a few recommendations to help you survive the first few months on the job.
For all new project managers, it’s normal to be drawn to the things you are competent in and feel comfortable doing. Because of this, it’s easy for you to focus on the things you are good at and neglect or put aside the things you don’t feel like doing: training, planning or assigning new tasks to your staff. But as a project manager, it’s important to remember to delegate to others. Though you may argue that it’s easier for you to do the work yourself, in the long run, it’s not sustainable. You cannot clone yourself into infinite versions of yourself (not yet at least) in order to get the work done. So instead, you have to empower others to do the work for you- even if you can easily do it yourself. If you are able to hand the torch and delegate responsibilities, eventually, your staff will have enough knowledge to replicate your process the same way you would do it.
Having a solution in place to automate those administrative tasks you hate doing can really make it easier on you, especially when you want to create an easily repeatable process. A software that allows you to customize your processes and gives you access to send automated emails and notifications will help you streamline your projects and make it easier on your team to know exactly what to do. Systemizing your processes will give your team instant access to them - so they can repeat it and you can feel like you’ve cloned yourself.
The endless battle between time, budget and deliverables is what drives the scope and is the root cause of so many project management frustrations. As a project manager, it’s important to understand that as the driving force behind a project you will often be forced to chose between time, budget and deliverables and the choice you make does not always coincide with the choice your client would make. Since all clients have their own expectations of what is important, it’s up to you, the project manager, to make the final judgement. Setting clear goals as to which elements are the most important can help drive a successful project. The ultimate takeaway then, is to not assume your clients are on the same page as you are - this may save you hours of frustration. Even if you’ve previously discussed it, always make sure those goals are clearly outlined.
The right software can help you manage the dreaded scope creep. Even though deadlines will change and budgets get adjusted you need a solution that will keep track of everything for you. With the right software, you can relax knowing that everything will be automatically adjusted according to those ad-hoc changes that come with managing a project and dealing with clients. Having a dynamic and smart technology platform will make it easier to catch any potential slip ups automatically - way before they happen.
Don’t let your project fall through the cracks by doing all the work manually. No matter which project management tool you select, make sure you have one that can incorporate your process and can easily manage any scope. The project management tool you select should feel like you’ve hired your very own personal assistant - one that you can rely on to be with you through every project.