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Can You Take a Step Back from Your Project?

A project manager is sitting outdoors meditating on grass near some water.When you are asked to lead a project one of the big problems you could come across is that of not being able to step back and hand some of the tasks over to your team members. This can be tough to do but by looking at the following list of benefits you will see that it is well worth making the effort.

See the Big Picture

One of the main problems when you get caught up in the details is that you neglect to look at the big picture. It is all very well for other people to do this but as the project manager you need to always know exactly where the overall project is going. If you sometimes feel that you have lost track of the overall goals then it might be that you have gotten too close to one part of the project. In this case you should consciously take a step back and try to see what other parts of it you have been missing out on.

Let Others Shine

As well as successfully concluding the project you will also want to make sure that your team members progress in their careers. If you take all of the important work away from them then you run the risk of them stagnating. Instead, you should make sure that they always have enough of a challenge on their hands to keep them busy and help them learn new things. If you do this then you will be able to look back later on and feel proud of the work you have done to help your team members enjoy their careers to date and move on to bigger and better things. It simply isn’t fair on them to hog all the good jobs for yourself and leave them doing anything you don’t want.

Avoid Stress

If you try and take on everything on your own then this is likely to lead you to frustration and stress. There is only so much that any of us can do in our jobs and you need to remember that biting off more than you can chew is something which isn’t going to end happily. The best approach which I have found is to work out in advance which parts of the piece of work you are going to keep a hold of and which you will pass on to other people. Clearly you will need to oversee the whole thing but there also be specific jobs which you prefer to hold onto. These could be around especially sensitive issues or potentially difficult stakeholders. However, the key is in not taking on too many of them, as this will just built up your stress levels and make it more difficult to complete the project on time.

Free Up Some Time

Time is likely to be an issue for you at some point in the project. When you lead a project – even a relatively modest sized one – there is almost always more things needing done than you can fit in. One of the best ways of avoiding this is by making sure that you don’t take on too many of the jobs which other people could do. Even if you just want to help out you need to realize that you won’t be helping anyone if you get bogged down in the fine details of the work. This is often a problem for people who have been promoted from within the team and are now leading a piece of work for the first time. If you are in this situation and you are finding that time is in short supply then this is a possible reason for it you should think about.

Keep Your Mind Clear

When you go to project meetings and make conference calls no one is likely to ask you about the little details. They will want to know all about the milestones which are due and the risks and issues which are being handled. If you clutter up your mind with too many of those details then it could be far more difficult for you to provide smart answers to the questions asked by the stakeholders. It is far better to focus your mind on the big issues and make sure that you are well prepared for the meetings where you will need to answer questions on these subjects rather than the things which you don’t really need to know about.

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