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How to Excel as a Project Manager

Eric McConnell
March 21, 2014

Project management is not just about managing the financial and human resources but also processes, communications, marketing. It’s a tough job that always involves in doing four or five management roles combined into a single one called “Project Manager“.

Justin Edinburgh excels as a manager

Justin Edinburgh is flying up. © Getty Images

Each time you inspire your team for executing a project and then your team achieves success in it, you gain an opportunity to learn something new and understand improvements for future projects. And no matter whether it’s a multi-million dollar project or just a tiny, local one within your office, you must always look for better ways of project execution as this effort will tremendously increase your competency and help you take your skills to a higher level.

Investing in your management skills will ultimately pay off rich dividends. If you are already a project manager, then developing your knowledge and abilities will help you enhance your career and put you ahead of the competition. Here are 5 traits which when improved will help you excel as a project manager.

Clear Vision

Project management is challenging because of uncertainty surrounding projects, however it becomes much easier for you when you have a clear vision about the process and the goals involved. Clarity of vision enables you to think about the process in detail and develop a roadmap for accomplishing the goals.

A strong vision will help you understand and eliminate possible gaps or doubts at early stages and create a proper plan for dealing with risks and opportunities. The deeper you understand the requirements, the clearer your vision becomes. Your vision also gets stronger when you:

  • assign the roles and responsibilities to proper team members, depending on their skills and knowledge
  • review daily todo lists and schedules of your team and keep track of progress
  • make everyone accountable for their results
  • express enthusiasm among everyone involved in the project

Never Neglect Details

By paying attention even to minutest of the details you earn more chances to achieve excellence. Think about everything you can and cannot do within your project and try to stay beyond standard approaches to project management – then you will never get stuck and will always find new ways of solving problems.

Trust in Your Team

You’re not the only person participating in the project. Actually, it is your team that moves the project forward, and you as a leader need to trust in your people in order to make the project succeeding.

Make sure everybody is up to date with the process and technology as both pertain to your project. Communicate with your team members individually about their strengths and weaknesses and listen to what they’re saying – no question should be dismissed as naïve.

Think of yourself as the captain of a sports team. Your ultimate goal is to lead your players. Leadership is your opportunity to excel as a project manager. Lead and trust in your people in order to bring out the best in every team member for the collective attainment of a goal.

Learning Never Ends

Learning is not just the way to start a project management career but it also affects your skills and your style of management as you move up your career ladder. So in order to excel as a project manager, you need to be serious about keeping up with the times and the latest trends in project management.

Even if you already have a PMP certification, further studying the discipline would not go amiss. Improving your knowledge would prove to be an excellent investment in your career.

Gather Feedback

Having a healthy attitude towards criticism will help figure out what went wrong and understand what you can learn from it. As a manager, you must focus on bottlenecks and performance issues and find ways to solve them.

By gathering and reviewing feedback on your project you can play your game and if needed, you can change it anytime because you know what went wrong and how to do it differently the next time.

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