When you are new to being a project manager, there’s lots of advice out there. Our advice? Take it all in! Including these easy tips.
There are many skills you need to be a successful PM, ranging from natural skills, attitudes and abilities, to management and control skills that can be learnt in project management training – it all counts, and the learning never ends (you’ll soon find that out). If you’re at the very beginning of your PM career, fresh from project management training and ready to get stuck in to your first project – well done, you’re well on your way to having a challenging, satisfying job in a fast growing professional industry.
Here are some easy tips to help you on your way:
You aren’t going to learn anything new if you don’t listen to anything. At the very beginning of your career it is doubly important to absorb absolutely everything going on around you. From the way your team works, to stakeholders, clients, customers and senior management, not to mention organisation culture, project restrictions, colleague body language and so on – like we said – everything.
2. Get Involved
It is also important to get involved with everything at this stage, as now is the time to make mistakes if you’re going to make any. Ask questions, meet people, connect with other departments and generally get engaging with all you are now part of.
3. Solve Problems Before Anything Else
You have learnt plenty of methods and processes during your project management training, so probably want to rush into the project itself. That enthusiasm is great (big thumbs up), but, it is a mistake to get stuck in before you do a proper risk analysis. Problem solving before the problems arise is a great idea. Look at the reports from similar past projects and chat to your team.
4. Be Part Of A Team
It never stops being important to be part of the team, which means being a team player from the very beginning of your project. You might want to impress your boss with your skills, but, that will come with time. For now you need to be optimising the skills of your team, praising them and leading them to success because it is the people in the team who will deliver the project.
5. Who Are You Working For?
Obviously the organisation’s big vision is important, but you need to combine that with the needs of the customer to make a winning big picture to sell to your team. Find out what they care about so you can translate that to the project and why you and your team should be caring about it to.
6. Keep Learning
Often people get into project management after training and think they know it all and now just need experience. The thing is, good PM’s never stop learning and trying to evolve. Keep tabs on yourself honestly, understanding your weaknesses and strengths so you can continually learn and progress, evolving as the job evolves.
7. Emotional Intelligence Always Matters
EI always matters in project management; it helps you understand anyone you are working with and will help you stand out from the crowd.
8. Kindness Isn’t Weakness
A lot of project managers can wade into a job with a stern and almost aggressive way of working, thinking that being the tough boss will earn them respect. It won’t. Kindness is always the best way to be and to get ahead. Yes you need to be respected, but for making tough decisions and leading fairly, not for bullying and forcing your opinion on others.
You Can Do It!
Remember, you got through the training and certification, you can do this job! Just absorb everything you possibly can and recognise that the best PM’s are always learning and always growing. As long as you always allow room for personal growth, you will always be succeeding.