Tips and tricks for first-time project managers
Are you a rookie looking for some tips for project managers? You’ve come to the right place! With these project management tips and tricks, you’ll be able to see the initiative through from conception to the congratulations on a job well done. Are you a process fanatic dead set on getting things done right? Then this blog is for you.
As a project manager, you are tasked with one of the most difficult (and important) responsibilities: making sure things get done on time, within budget, and to a satisfactory degree.
As a first-timer, you might feel a bit overwhelmed, but as long as you continuously learn and strive to be the best project manager you can be, you will succeed. Guaranteed.
But let’s stop waxing poetic and get to what really matters: your company’s bottom line. Here’s how running a successful (or unsuccessful) project translates to real dollars:
– 70% of projects fail
– IT project failures cost the US economy upwards of $150 billion each year
– The average project overruns budget by 27%
If your project is unsuccessful, it will run over budget and eventually lead to 0 benefit for the company—money and time down the drain.
How about this stat, though….
“80% of high-performing projects are led by a certified project manager.”
That’s you… after you read these project management tips from Soda PDF! To help out, we’ve divided them into 3 categories: Communication, Documentation, and Personal.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY! If you think you are communicating too much, communicate more.
- Be accessible: Let everyone and anyone come to you. Be a sponge for your team and listen to opinions and concerns. Let everyone know that you are here for them and focused on the goal.
- Communicate risks and challenges: You must communicate any perceived risks, roadblocks, or challenges beforehand. Show everyone you are the most dedicated person on the team. Be transparent with the entire team, especially your core, and let them know that nothing will stand in your way.
- Listen to opinions and challenge them: You are the manager, not the technical expert. Trust what your core is telling you and respect their opinions, but never let things slip without challenging them. If something doesn’t sit right with you, ask why you should steer the ship in that direction.
Being prepared and keeping a paper trail is some of the best project management advice you’ll ever get.
- Keep detailed notes: Make notes on each step—what went right/wrong, who did what, and why they did it. Follow up. Give positive reinforcement and shine negatives in a positive light if you have to. Detailed reports can work wonders.
- Work smarter, not harder: Using software to make things easier is obvious, but what might not be obvious is that you must learn to focus on what you do best and delegate tasks to your team. Trust them. Hone in on your best skills and become more productive by doing less. The more details you have laid out in writing, the better.
- Understand the details: This goes without saying, but you must internalize the project details; everything from stakeholder expectations to final goals. Along the way, be sure you communicate your expectations to everyone in the team as it pertains to their responsibilities. Having this all documented in plain English will help you keep track of everything.
Tip: Soda PDF makes it easy to create documents, turn them into PDFs, share them with your entire team, and store them in a central directory that everyone can access. It makes documentation easy and is perfect for new managers trying to administer challenging tasks.
How you think and behave will affect the team.
- Lead by example: This is your project; make sure everyone knows it. If you are determined and communicative, your team will follow suit.
- Be decisive: You should respect other opinions and be learning constantly, but always be decisive. Do not waver or mull decisions over publicly. Your team needs you to be the rock. You should deeply consider decisions on direction, but perhaps the best tip for new managers is to always keep up your appearance with the team.
- Assume authority and win your peers: Some respect will be given by your title. The rest will need to be earned. Assume authority instantly but involve your peers in decision making. When they see your dedication to the team, they will respect you.
These project management tips and tricks for first-time managers will help you grow into a leader that is invaluable to your company.
If PDF software that makes it easy to document each step of your project and communicate seamlessly with your team sounds like something you could benefit from, start your free trial with Soda PDF today.