Obstacles to progress or productivity are an everyday possibility for every manager, and they can seriously threaten the success of a project as well as the morale of your team. Here are 5 of our favourite solutions here at Parallel Project Training, that offer the opportunity for you to raise the bar and succeed, rather than being knocked flat by project obstacles.
Establish a clear sense of direction
A lack of clarity is probably the first hurdle to be solved, and so it is imperative that every project manager has the ability to formulate a clear project vision and is able to explain project management techniques to their team. A sense of continued focus is imperative; a PM needs to be a skilled “juggler” whilst filtering out any unnecessary distractions along the timeline of the project.
Assertiveness rather than aggressiveness gets results
Many project managers are still “old school” in their approach to team management – acting in a dictatorial rather than diplomatic manner which ironically only serves to create unnecessary project obstacles. A team works best when a PM spends time developing soft skills; establishing trust and encouraging reciprocal feedback. Rest assured that a project manager who uses soft skills will not be led a merry dance by their team but find they are working in unison because of this effective approach to leadership.
Understand the importance of training and development
One hurdle that is often overlooked is providing the requisite training and development. Your team may be both skilled and experienced, but they are more likely to be a mix of talents and abilities, and you need them all to feel as though they are being encouraged to grow and learn yet still see each project as a challenge. It’s also never a bad idea for a PM to brush up on their own training too.
There is no I in teamwork
You may be the project manager, but you are also a member of a team and setting yourself on a pedestal can set yourself up for a fall. There is no doubt that leading a team is a difficult job where the rewards are not always apparent until project completion, but one way to feel a sense of achievement is to celebrate with your staff every time you take a step closer to the finish line. This also includes being able to take a knockback or two. Getting your hands dirty with your team to overcome the hurdles you couldn’t have done anything to prevent – and taking your share of the blame – will only increase the trust and admiration of your department.
Sticking to a schedule
A PM who cannot manage time is going to face problem after problem because every stage of a project involves deliverables and deadlines. Time, after all, is money and this needs to be finely balanced with producing quality work rather than aiming for perfectionism. A schedule is best formulated when the right tasks are allocated to the right people. But, even when things are going according to plan – never take your eye off the clock.