As a project manager, you will have to manage a team. This is not an easy task, you have to reach balance between multiple interests. You will also have to effectively combine numerous roles and fit them within your function, you have to be able to find balance between supervision and freedom of your subordinates. In this article, we would like to present 20 pieces of advice that will help you manage your projects efficiently.
1. Choose the right people
This is what you have to start from when working on a project. So if you can, take part in the recruitment process. It is very important to choose the right people for specific tasks. Analyse what you will need at each stage of project and find the people who will guarantee achievement of specific goals.
2. Get to know your team members
You have to get to know all people you will work with. A team meeting, face-to-face conversations and some form of bond will facilitate communication in the team and built trust in the future. That will strengthen your position as the team leader and build the respect of each of its members for you.
3. Take advantage of the strengths of each team member
Each team member carries a different set of skills. The key to efficient team management and achievement of the set goals lies in effectively using that which your team members are best at. If you distribute their duties properly, the project will be implemented smoothly and according to plan.
4. Positive attitude
All people working on your project have to know that its manager, that is you, has a positive attitude to the tasks to be performed. Such an attitude will be shared by your team members. If you see obstacles yourself and express it to people around you, their morale will drop as well.
5. Provide everyone with a proper tool for task completion
Make sure that you equip your team not only with common project management software, but also with the tools that each team member will need. Each of your subordinates will be in charge of slightly different tasks, which will require application of different methods.
6. Talk to your team members
Proper communication in the team is essential. Not everyone is communicative enough to ask questions and voice their doubts. This is why it is your task, as the manager, to encourage people to share their knowledge and doubts. Talk with them and check whether everything is clear. It is also important that you give clear communications. Make sure that everyone understands the aim of your project and all tasks which you delegate.
7. Appreciate and reward your subordinates
It is immensely important to appreciate and prize your subordinates for a job well done. Whoever feels that their job is not appreciated may quickly swap their employer. Therefore, you have to communicate that they are needed. Tell this to such a person personally, but use prizes as well. Hand a rise, change the name of the job position, allow flexible working time or home office.
8. Do not be afraid to dismiss someone who is not fit for the job
You have to be able to recognise when someone is not fit for their current position. Someone who cannot do their job or does it poorly will not only delay the project and have a negative influence on it, but will also sap the motivation of others. Nothing strikes at morale more than awareness that someone else gets the same for their poor work as someone who does it well. Therefore, you have to be able to make difficult decisions.
9. Carry our regular assessments
People want to know what they are good at and what they still have to work on. This is why a regular audit showing the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates is a good idea. They will get to know what they have to work on and you will know what makes them stand out.
10. Trainings and courses
At present, people appreciate not only a good pay, but the constant opportunity for development as well. Therefore, you should invest in trainings for your employees. You have to choose such trainings that not only will be useful for them not only in implementation of your joint projects, but which also they will be interested in. If you send them to a training they are reluctant to take part in, they will not learn anything, the enterprise will lose money and the employees will waste their time.
11. Take care of motivation in your team
Make everyone motivated to work. Everyone is affected by different incentives, but sometimes even small gestures or facilities are enough for your employee to feel motivated to work.
12. Plan meetings
It is good when all participants of planned meetings know about them in advance. Set their agenda and duration. Thanks to this everyone will have the opportunity to organise their work plan. To plan a meeting, you can for instance use the Google calendar or a calendar featured in IC Project, which will make organisation easier to you and others.
With IC Project, you will always know what meetings and tasks there are in the given employee’s calendar and others can make use of the calendar of their colleagues in order not to duplicate meetings or events. In addition, the system will send you an intuitive reminder of the need to add an event, of an upcoming meeting or of the deadline of a specific task. It will not allow you to forget about anything.
13. Consider whether the given meeting is necessary
Before planning a meeting consider whether the given case requires a meeting. Studies show that participants of meetings think that they were not necessary in 60% of cases. This particularly applies to short, several-minute meetings, which are often evaluated as lacking substance. However, if a meeting is necessary, sometimes organising a videoconference will be enough. At times, even an e-mail, a phone call or a task-related conversation will suffice.
14. Constructive criticism
Remember that if you criticise someone, you should do it reasonably. The criticised person has to know what they did wrong, why they are criticised and – first and foremost – how they can repair the damage done or prevent a similar negligence or error in the future.
15. Take care of order and outline an action plan
Everyone has to always know what they have to do and what is the action plan. Shortcomings in this field may result in chaos, which will in turn lead to delays and unmet deadlines. A proper project management tool will facilitate monitoring of progress of everyday tasks and whole projects. Use the Gantt chart here, which is a great planning tool. The choice is wide – there are tools tailored specifically for the Gantt chart such as Gantt Pro, a comprehensive solution, which combines full project and task management with the Gantt chart, IC Project or simpler applications dedicated to task management only, e.g. Nozbe or Todoist.
16. Solve conflicts
It is you, the project manager, who has to take care of good atmosphere in the team. You have to learn how to solve conflicts. It is particularly important that you do it as early as possible. The later more you delay, the more negative consequences conflicts will have. You have to remember that conflicts will occur, but treat them as a challenge.
17. Set out reasonable requirements
You cannot demand that someone do more than what their skills and experience allow. You can send someone to a training or a course, introduce someone to new duties, but you have to do it gradually, so that everyone can fulfil their duties, not feel overwhelmed by them.
18. Set clear goals and act with a teamwork spirit
Everyone should know what their duties are as well as when specific tasks are required of them. It is important to set deadlines, but they have to be feasible. Strive for your team to work as one machine. Allow everyone to present their ideas, discuss them together, run brainstorming – this will strengthen your team spirit.
19. Take care of integration of employees
A well-integrated team can achieve much more, so you should strive to integrate the team after work or during breaks as well. Organise an office game or order food together. If work colleagues like each other, it will be easier for them to work together, which will improve work effectiveness.
20. Evaluate and account for assigned tasks
Try to do it on a current basis so everyone is aware that they cannot be tardy and knows that completing a task on time really makes sense. Remember about any constructive criticism that is necessary, but also about praising someone if they completed their tasks successfully.