Monday, February 10, 2014

Six Rules Every New Project Manager Should Follow

These days, being a project manager can be a rewarding career, but without the proper training, you could be underprepared for all the tough tasks and decisions that can arise in your day. The core of project management is about setting and meeting business goals and when these goals are broken down into designated steps, they become projects to be completed. So, managing these projects requires not only intuition, but also learned project management skills.

According to Project Accelerator, every new project manager should follow these six rules in order to have a successful career:

Communicate. Communication is key to a successful project completion. Communicating comfortably with executives, team members, and shareholders is the top-needed skill for PMs. A PM needs to be able to tailor their message to the various levels of the organization. Whether it is business or personal, PMs need to take interest in whatever the executive talks about, which allows them to utilize this information later. Communication with stakeholders is critical early on in projects, building trust and gaining invaluable insights on project success.

Speak in Public. Even though the main role of a PM is to lead the team to a successful project completion, PMs also need to be proficient in presenting their project ideas. PMs should be able to put the project information in an engaging format, which will increase the positive engagement of those impacted by the project. Most public speakers are not born with this skill, but need to invest in the time and practice needed to present their message clearly and confidently.

Implement Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS).  Implementing an EVMS helps PMs keep track of the data to answer questions and keep their team on track while increasing their credibility with stakeholders. PMs need to understand how to read the metrics on the EVMS; otherwise, the information will not be conveyed correctly, affecting the project at all levels.

Find the Right Resources. Implementing the right resources for effective project management takes a tremendous amount of work, requiring PMs to get to know people, and tap into the correct networks for experience and knowledge. Resourcing works hand in hand with communication, involving conversing and connecting with people every day. Once project managers build a rapport with clients and stakeholders, these people will want to help to get the job down within the designated timeframe and budget.

Acquire the Right Skills. Applying a balance of technical focus, verbal and written communication and decision-making skills is imperative to doing this job effectively. These skills help PMs cross organizational boundaries when forming decisions and obtaining support.

Hold Regular Meetings. When taking on new projects, PMs need to make sure to hold regular team meetings to allow for project information distribution, time line setting, resources allocation, feedback solicitation, and stakeholder updates. 
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