11 Project Management Tips For New Project Managers
New to the project management world? It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Project management tips, techniques, and software change daily, but the foundation remains the same. Using the following best practices will give you an edge when you’re starting off. Let’s jump right into it! Here are 11 project management tips to start you off on the right foot.
It’s not enough to say that you need to communicate with your team. That’s pretty much a given. One thing that is sometimes left out of this tip is that team members, including yourself, need to have multiple channels of communication available.
Open communication is important, especially for those urgent moments when a question needs a fast answer. Slack is a great communication tool for this purpose. You, as well as your team, should be able to answer to something like a Slack notification quickly.
Toggl Plan is another great software solution. With the timeline feature, you’ll get a clear understanding of what everyone is supposed to be doing. In the event that something needs to be changed, you can notify the team quickly by simply updating the Toggl Plan timeline. Toggl Plan also integrates with Slack, which means you’ll be able to see timeline updates in your Slack notifications without all the back and forth.
Plans change, but that’s no cause for alarm. In Toggl Plan, adjusting plans on the timeline is as easy as the click of a mouse. You can assign additional team members to an assignment so that it’s done faster, change the deadline from this Friday to next, or even change the assignment’s color to red to indicate that it’s urgent. You can do all of this in a matter of seconds! No need to stress about having to rework the timeline. Simply click a few times, add some text, and get right back to work.
Milestones are visual reminders that help your team stay on track for a major deadline. They allow you to set small goals to break up the otherwise long process. Use Toggl Plan’s milestone feature to break a project down into more manageable phases. Use it to boost the morale and get a visual grasp of the progress you’ve made. It may not seem like a huge deal, but the little details like this make a massive difference.
No hidden tricks here. A team should run like a ticking clock. Trust that they have things under control and that they’ll contact you if they don’t. You have a lot on your plate as it is, being unnecessarily worried and suspicious of your team will only make matters worse. Remember that your job is to manage them. Respect their ideas, let them do what they do best, and you do what you do best.
Don’t be Afraid to Learn
Nobody is perfect. There will be times where you will fail. Take those opportunities to learn and evolve your work style. Don’t dwell on the mistakes, but study them instead. Use them as a stepping stone to success and you’ll never be weighed down.
Challenge Your Ideas
Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. If you have time to sit and think about ways to make an idea better, then by all means, do it. If you don’t understand something, ask for a better explanation. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. You’ve gathered a team of experts. Ask them what they would do, take note, and if needed, change things up a little.
Being open and honest with your team is important. Discuss potential threats, risks, and obstacles you may encounter. If you discuss them beforehand, and everyone is aware of them, the odds that you’ll overcome them are much greater than if you keep them to yourself. Remember: There is no “I” in team.
Know Your Team
Know your team inside and out. Understand their strengths and weaknesses. Help them grow and train them to be leaders. Develop relationships with them. Learn what sets them apart and charge full-steam ahead.
Know Your Clients
Just like you should know your team, you should also know your client. Get to know them, develop relationships with them, and understand exactly what they want. Don’t be afraid to accept criticism and adapt the project to better meet the needs of the client. Be ready to make changes and move forward.
Know Your Limits
It would be great if we could stay awake for days at a time and get the project done. The reality of it is that we’re all human. Knowing when to say no is a valuable trait that we’ve been brainwashed to think is bad. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t accept a new project. There will be more. Don’t let your weaknesses define you, and don’t let your strengths limit you. Challenge yourself, but don’t overwhelm yourself or your team. If you dedicate the necessary amount of time and resources into making your current project amazing, then you’ll have new clients lined up out the door.
You did it! You’ve completed the project, it’s time to celebrate. You all have learned a lot during the process and that’s something to celebrate. Use what you’ve learned to make the next project easier. Pass on what you’ve learned to the rest of the team so that they can make their work process better, too.
To summarize these project management tips, here are the key points to take away from what’s written above:
- Communicate openly
- Challenge Ideas
- Don’t be afraid to learn
- Know what you’re dealing with
- Celebrate what works
Project management changes every day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t become an expert. Take every piece of advice you can get and use it to your advantage. Always treat your projects like your team’s reputation depends on it, because it does. Always be ready to learn, and you’ll do great!