Project managers have the important task of overseeing a project from start to finish. This is a fine line to walk as for every $1 billion invested in the U.S., a total of $122 million is wasted due to poor project performance, according to PMI.org.
Bearing this in mind, project management professionals need to juggle the tasks of a project while setting milestones to reach at each and every turn. By setting these goals, a project manager can strive to ensure that every project they work on is better than the last, making 2019 a year to achieve more success with your project management skills.
Try these goals targeted toward every project manager. Not only can they help you to achieve more in 2019, but they can set you on the right path for the rest of the year. Let 2019 be the year that you achieve even more as a project manager by improving your performance now and throughout the year.
Keep Your Budget At The Forefront
While project managers have heard a million times over that every project needs to stay within budget, this can be a real challenge when obstacles arise. Even the best-laid plans can prevent a project from staying within the funding constraints, but it is your job as a project manager to ensure the budget is adhered to.
Staying proactive when it comes to streamlining costs and making cuts where necessary can help you stay on top of rising costs that are not necessary for a project to be completed.
Making sure that all expenses are accounted for and that no surprises arise, can help your project go off without a hitch and keep you within the confines of the budget that has been set.
You’ll find that by thinking ahead and being responsive to problems ahead of the game can help you see where the budget isn’t matching the outlined strategy. Always keep your budget at the forefront of your project and don’t ignore the guidelines it presents. This will help you identify red flags early on and find ways to creatively work within the funding provided.
Think About Time Constraints
Every project manager wants to come in on time with a proposed project. Keeping your team on task and inline can be a difficult prospect. But it is your job as the project manager to ensure that everyone is completing their responsibilities as related to the project being performed.
You may have to needle and pry, but the result will be well worth the effort when you receive the accolades for completing a project within the timeline provided. It is also important to understand when a project needs more time. Sometimes unexpected issues arise that can throw a real wrench in the plans and prevent even the best of project managers from finding a way to complete the job in the time allotted.
Being realistic with your project timeline can help everyone on your team complete the work without stress and struggle. There is no need to push your people to the limit to meet an impossible deadline. Be upfront when more time is needed and recognize when additional help is needed as well.
Be Attenuative To Your Clients
Your client is your primary concern throughout the project that you are working on. It is key that you keep them top of mind and adhere to their requests. Being attentive, responsive, and communicative will allow your clients to see that you are ready to assist them with anything that they may need throughout the job.
You also need to manage their expectations and be as transparent as possible in your approach. The more comfortable your client feels with the project, the more satisfied they will be with the work at the completion of the project.
Remember it is not enough to complete the job on time, within budget and by the requirements. Your clients want a customer experience that is positive as well. Working well in a partnership with your clients will provide them with the respect and collaboration that they are looking for.
Remember Your Team
Above all, you need to remember your team members. It can be easy as a project manager to get wrapped up in the details of the project, forgetting that your team has a life beyond work. Give them a break and let them have the time they need to refresh, recharge, and renew their drive.
If your team’s performance is falling behind, it may be time to call in reinforcements. Don’t overextend, overwork or stress your team to the max. This is when mistakes will happen, costing you time, money, and possibility your client if you are not careful.
Be a strong project manager that can see when help is needed. Appreciate your staff and be sure to thank them for their hard work. This little bit of effort will go a long way in motivating them and ensuring that the project tasks they have to get done to your and the client’s satisfaction.
Adhere To The Project Requirements
Every project has a set of requirements that need to be followed. Ignoring these requirements not only can get you in trouble with the client but could cause you to lose the job. Be detailed as a project manager and understand every last aspect of the project better than anyone on your team.
Nothing can be overlooked when it comes to developing a project to specification. Use the tools that are around you to help you manage every minute requirement, so you can stay on top of the needs of the project without relying on your memory to get the work done.
There are a variety of apps and software that can help you keep track of your project without having to constantly overextend yourself to do it. Use these tools to your advantage, so you can reach your goals with every job you work on, making them a little easier to digest with the added technology assistance.
Collaborate And Learn From Others
As a project manager, you need to take the time to learn from those that came before you. You may not have the experience or expertise that someone else can offer. Be open to listening to what others are trying to teach you. They are only trying to help you avoid a costly mistake and could help save a project from running away with the budget or timeline.
By collaborating and generating new ideas through others, you may discover new ways to make a project more time-efficient, cost-effective, or safe. Listen to your team member and find out what they think about the project they are working on. They may have a valuable idea that could save in the long run of a project.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you gain from the members on your team or those that are more experienced on the type of project you are working on. You can’t claim to know it all, and by letting others have a say or two, you can find new and innovative ways to approach the project you are working on.
Communicate On All Levels
Be the project manager that communicates with the higher-ups as well as the newbies. Everyone involved in a project deserves to know where it stands at all times. This is another time where honesty and trust need to be established. The more information you can provide the better received you will be should a problem arise during the course of the project.
Project managers have the hard job of breaking the bad (or good) news about a project. This can be a difficult task unless you are well-versed in being upfront about the information. Don’t be afraid to be the messenger as you are relied on for this very reason.
Being the one that withholds information can only cause you anguish as you try down the road to explain the mishaps that have occurred in a project. Here, is where you project management skills will really come in handy as you help everyone in your team know where the project stands at all times, so they are prepared and ready to handle anything that comes their way.
When it comes to project management in 2019, you can excel if you set these goals for yourself. Make them a priority in your everyday routine and responsibilities, and you will find that your job as a project management professional will not only get easier, but you will be more effective for your clients and team.
This year is your year to shine as a project management professional. You can succeed in ways that you have never considered before. Project management does not have to be a challenge. You can be a leader that others look to and make sure that every project you oversee thrives in its development.
About the Author
Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.