Project Manager Responsibilities
Project managers own the responsibility for a project’s success. They bear the responsibility for managing a project’s day-to-day tasks, managing resources, working with clients and vendors, and set expectations for internal staff, stakeholders and clients. In a nutshell, they carry a great deal of weight. Below are 10 project manager tips that will make you shine.
1. Maintain a Current Project Plan
The project plan will keep the project manager on target. A project plan outlines tasks, task responsibility, task start date, milestones, and completion dates as well as task dependencies. Keeping this plan updated forces the project manager to review the plan. The manager should, at-a-glance, see what targets are not being met and take action as necessary.
2. Listen to the Project Team
The project team members are the workers who are completing the tasks. They may tell the PM when things are not working well or suggest other solutions that are more efficient than what is outlined in the plan. These individual experts want to feel that they are part of a team and have a voice. By listening to the team, the project manager will be able to gather useful information to the project and add to the morale of the team members.
3. Meet With the Project Team Regularly
A fundamental project manager tip for success is to hold reoccurring meetings with the project team. Hold meetings at the same time each week so the team dedicates that time to attend the meetings. During these meetings, the manager should gather status updates from the team and discuss any barriers and potential risks to the project timeline.
4. Know When to Escalate Issues
Every project has issues and each project manager needs to be skilled in managing them. Minor issues can often be resolved by making effective decisions. However, when a true issue occurs, such as a team member not meeting targets or another issue that poses a serious risk to the project’s success, the project manager should know when and who to escalate the issues to for resolution.
5. Understand Project Goals
Though the project manager may not understand each of the tasks involved with the project, they need to understand the ultimate project goals. If the manager is confused about what the ultimate outcome of the project should be, they need to clarify the goals with the project stakeholders.
6. Gather the Right People for the Team
Managers need to seek the proper resources for their teams. Without the right people in place, the project will fall flat and not succeed. Effective managers rely on their team to carry the project and chooses the right people for the job.
7. Set Realistic Expectations
Be realistic on project timelines and don’t promise what cannot be delivered. If the IT team tells the project manager it will take 6 weeks for equipment to arrive, don’t ask the team to accomplish the task in 3 weeks.
8. Assure the Project Team Recognizes Impact on Each Other
Team members often work in silos. When team members see how they fit into the bigger picture, this will help them see the impact they have on each other. Reviewing the task dependencies with the entire team will help put the project puzzle together.
9. Listen to the Clients and Stakeholders
Ultimately, clients and stakeholders determine a project’s success. The project manager should consider their recommendations and analyze if their ideas are useful and doable within budget. An outsider may see a strength or flaw in the project’s management that the manager may be too close to the project to see.
10. Reign in Project Tasks and Goals
Projects can grow in scope during the implementation phase. An important project manager tip is the ability to reign in new demands and examine how they will impact the project. A managed project is one that doesn’t get out of hand with new requirements and tasks.
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