Whether it’s part of your job title, listed on your resume, or included in your job description, nearly everyone in today’s workforce is a part-time project manager. In order to advance in your career, having basic project management skills can help. Luckily, for most projects you don’t need an advanced degree or certification. There are a few basic skills that can help you, starting today.
Have a Clear End Goal and Deadline: Projects are defined as collections of tasks completed in conjunction to meet an objective within a time and cost constraint. In order to do this, you need to start projects with the end in mind. This may include identifying what tasks will not be completed as part of the project.
Ensure Buy-In from the Team: Make sure that your team clearly understands the goal and timeline for the project, and what your expectations are for their role. This can often be defined by a project kick-off meeting. Ensure you have corporate support for your project so that your project is a priority for your team members as well.
Set Deadlines: If your project has many dependencies (such as a designer cannot work on the layout of the brochure until the copy writing is done), ensure that you set, communicate, and stick to firm deadlines. This helps keep your project moving forward, and helps maintain team harmony. If a deadline simply cannot be met, be sure to communicate with the team members who have dependent tasks.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: While most projects are done by teams of people, there’s a lot of individual work that goes into each task. Don’t rely on email or your memory to keep track of who is working on what. Use a project management system, like a Productivity Board, to help give everyone access to the information they need about the project, and to update the status of their tasks. With Productivity Fox, you can also associate your meetings with your board, keeping virtually every communication you have about the project linked together in one easy-to-access location.
Celebrate Successes: We’re all busy – and getting busier. Don’t forget to take a few minutes after a project is done to celebrate it’s successful completion, and thank your team for a job well done. Then get started on the next project.