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Seven tips for new Project Managers

By Johan Tabori – Project Manager at Santex

The project management role has evolved very rapidly over the last two decades. The traditional view of “boss” has morphed into a combination of “facilitator” and “coordinator,” a description which is a better fit within agile organizations. The following tips can help you to improve your project management skills in today’s increasingly changing business environments:

1. Ensure healthy and friendly work environments.
Fear is the worst incentive to work, therefore, you want to make sure the team work environment is as friendly as it can be. By ensuring this, your teammates will trust you and you will be able to delegate responsibilities more adequately. The same goes for the client, because team dynamics can be affected by how good a relationship with the client is, so don’t be afraid to demand collaboration and mutual respect.

2. Know your team and client.
As a project manager, you need to wear your psychologist hat sometimes. As you move forward with the project, it’s very important to understand both your team’s and client’s mindsets. Understanding these mindsets will be very helpful when bringing up sensitive issues or when you need to resolve conflicts.

3. Quickly respond to communications.
Unless you are in a meeting or have an emergency, don’t wait too long to respond an email or call. If you’re not sure about the topic being discussed, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If it requires further investigation, let the sender know and promise you will look into it and get back to him or her as soon as possible.

4. Review project status with your client periodically.
Weekly follow-up meetings are the best way to keep your client and stakeholders informed. Make sure you cover key aspects of the project such as current status, scope, milestones, communications, and team updates.

5. Involve your team as much as possible in key decisions regarding the project.
In most cases, your team will have more technical skills than you do, so instead of imposing any particular technology, architecture, or framework, make sure these are agreed upon within the team.

6. Take the opportunity to learn.
Self-centered project managers fail miserably in accomplishing long term goals . Acknowledge your weaknesses and information gaps and learn from every team member and client.

7.  Demonstrate your value as a service provider before asking for more business.
Clients hate when they are presented with prospective new business at the beginning of the contract. They want to see you “in action” before they can start thinking about it. Once you have proved you are able to deliver value to their organization, they will come to you and discuss future projects.

 About the Author
Johan Tabori – Johan’s education as an informatics engineer prepared him well to become the project manager that he is today. A natural multi-tasker, he has been leading IT project teams in a variety of vertical markets and applications for more than 10 years.