You took your big chance and stepped up into your first project management role. You’re excited, but nervous because you want to excel, but you aren’t sure how exactly to become the rock star you were meant to be. Here are seven tips on rocking in your new role.
Make Communicating Easy
Good PMs don’t flinch at the idea of communicating with stakeholders, clients or team. This means being clear and precise, but especially honest while understanding that everyone has a communication style. Try to anticipate questions or concerns before they are concerns or questions.
Be a Chameleon
It’s critical to fit in seamlessly with each sector from management to client to team. Get to know individuals inside each group so you can be more efficient with your efforts to set reasonable goals, communicate, and motivate.
Update the Project Status Continually
Weekly status meetings and reports keep you ahead of next steps while allowing you ample time to manage budgets and avoid awkward conversations if your team falls short. It’s also important to have the status meetings as a tool to motivate and inform the teams and to build rapport. When in doubt, call. Email frequently as deadlines approach so you know everyone’s progress.
Avoid Scope Creep
Set your team’s expectations with a clear and written scope. Make sure everyone on the team has a copy of the scope handy and refer to it frequently. Set expectations around the scope and never walk away from them; this is the hardest part of being an effective manager. Deliverables and timelines are metrics for the effectiveness of your work; make them work for you.
Sometimes You Need an SME
The subject matter expert can bail out a stuck project or a project threatening to be derailed by a sideline item or a new requirement that snuck into the scope. If it’s a design or development —
specific question, call the SME before you go from PM to PM and design director to development manager.
Don’t Be THAT Person
Your team is made up of people who hold the keys to questions about the project; unless the question is specifically about budget, scope or key deliverables, you shouldn’t be answering alone. Know when to say, “I’m not sure; let me see what I can find out.”
Be Your Team’s Cheerleader
This team’s success is a direct reflection of your management skills. Support them with upper management. Applaud them when you see good work. Celebrate the wins. There will be times you have to steer everyone back on track, so enjoy the times things come together.
Work With a Top IT Recruiter in San Francisco
While we’ve boiled it down to seven items, any good PM knows these are just the start to be a successful manager. Consultant Specialists, Inc. knows how to set your career up for success! Contact us to get started today!