If you’ve been tapped to be the point person working with a partner (or partners) on a project for your organization, congrats! Welcome to the wonderful world of being a project manager. Whether you know it or not, you have a huge role to play in the success of your project. We’ve polled our team of project manager superstars to get their take on some fundamental keys to success.
5. Define Internal Roles & Responsibilities
Chances are that you have at least several other people on your internal project team. What are your expectations about the roles they will play? What parts of the project work will they be responsible for? Getting everyone on the same page about what you need them to do helps you start off on the right foot as a team.
4. Set Communication Expectations Early
Do you want weekly updates or is a daily blast better for you? Will it take you a few days to respond to a question or will you reply within an hour or so? Where will your various notes, worksheets and other materials live within your organization? It’s a great idea to define your needs and expectations as early as possible – this helps your team form good habits and can prevent misunderstandings down the road.
3. Hold Regular Internal Project Meetings
Sure, you have regular meetings with your external project partners. You also need to have some time for discussing and deciding amongst yourselves. Draft an agenda and stick to it. Table the other stuff that comes up for follow up later. Set aside 30-60 minutes each week for you to keep the conversation going. Hint: Scheduling these internal calls to take place right before your full project meetings can often work very well.
2. Educate Yourself
If your project includes new online tools, new features or new functionality, you’ll need to get a little book smart (although you probably won’t use an actual book). Give yourself the time you need to learn how to use the new tools, what they can do and what they can’t do. Watch a webinar. Get a sandbox and play around. It’s up to you to dedicate some time to learning on your own.
1. Be Optimistically Realistic
It takes an optimist to be able to inspire and lead others. No one follows an Eeyore (at least not willingly). Having a positive frame can help you and your team when you are in the project weeds. That said, it’s also important to be a realist. If you need a miracle to achieve a specific project-related goal, it’s probably going to end in tears and your adult beverage of choice. It’s much better to work within the laws of what is possible and pop the cork when your project wraps on time.
What other tips would you add to this list? Add a comment and let’s have a conversation! Learn more about our client-focused approach – contact us!