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The 5 Things You Must Do as a Project Manager

A project manager standing with some of her team members in the background.Being a project manager is a role which requires a lot of different skills and at first it might seem like you need to do a lot of juggling to get things done. However, perhaps it will help you if you place most emphasis on 5 of the most important areas you need to really concentrate on.

Meet the Objectives

In among all of the other stuff which goes on in a project it can be surprisingly easy to lose track of the original reason why there is a project in the first place. Whether you need to improve a process, change something in the system or create some new forms you should always try to keep it clear in your head what you are actually bring paid to do. If you manage to do this then you should be able to avoid being side tracked by irrelevant issues throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Lead the Team

In the majority of the projects you carry out you can expect to have a team of workers to manage. This is one of the most exciting parts of the job for many project managers but others may find it to be more daunting than thrilling. However, there is no getting away from the fact that this is one of the most important parts of the role. If you can get your team working well together then your life will be a lot easier and the project will run a lot more smoothly.

Keep the Stakeholders Happy

Arguably the most important people in the project are the stakeholders. The first thing we need to think about here is that these people aren’t out to make your life a misery (although I can’t deny that they might do this at some point). They will be as keen as you are to make the whole piece of work give the desired results and it is up to you to make sure that they are kept happy. Not all stakeholders are as demanding as others but you should get into the habit of over achieving and giving them absolutely no reason to complain about how you handle their projects.

Get the Documentation Right

The paperwork is vital in any project but some new project leaders find this out too late. If you are used to winging things and filling in the paperwork afterwards then you will surely come unstuck in the project environment. When you first get given the details of your new piece of work you should immediately be thinking about how you will shape your business case and project plan. If you get this right then you will allow your project to start off on the right foot and then carry on from there. However, trying to get going without putting all of this in order will soon land you in problems. Even if the work is urgent and you are looking for shortcuts the paperwork is one area you really don’t want to compromise on.

Keep Learning and Improving  

No matter how many projects you have successfully carried out you will need to make sure that you take every possible opportunity to keep on improving. You are likely to come across many different types of situation and this means that the learning possibilities are virtually limitless. Even if you stay in this type of role for a long time you will find that you never get to learn everything or come across every type of issue which could come up. Personally this is the main reason why I have always enjoyed the role so much. In every other type of work I have done I have, sooner or later, come to the conclusion that there isn’t a lot more I can learn. Things are different in the project world as you will quite possibly never reach the stage where you feel that you are going over old ground and not progressing. Of course, it is up to you to take advantage of the chance to carry on learning new things and making a better career for yourself. This, in part, means getting yourself onto training courses and being open to new ideas and techniques. It certainly isn’t a job which is suitable for anyone who is likely to get settled in their ways and forget about learning new stuff. Having said that, if that sounds like you then maybe you could benefit from this type of role to keep you on your toes.

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