5 Secrets to Become a Better Performing PM

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 08/29/19
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Project management requires a person to have knowledge that is gained from training, learned from experience, and is both “hard” and “soft.”

While most in the field say it’s more of an art than a science, there is no substitute for experience and listening to those who’ve “been there, done that.”

Here are five tips from a seasoned PM and organizational change agent veteran on how to become a better performing PM:

1. Define what to accomplish and get agreement—early! Vicki Hoard, PMP, LSSBB, CSM, Special Project Lead, says working hard at the beginning will pay off big throughout and at the end of the project. Closely tie a project’s objectives to client’s expectations to get the team and organization’s leadership on your side.

2. A plan to follow is essential. Most PMs understand the no plan is above being altered. But a good plan will allow the PM to clarify priorities against specific business goals and objectives. The plan can be the foundation for capturing you and your team’s thought process and your roadmap to an objective. “Once written,” Hoard says. “Changes are taken very seriously and can be scored objectively, either positive or negative.”

3. Manage expectations and fight scope creep. Be upfront and honest. “Trying to avoid any conflict often makes it worse,” Hoard explains. One project can’t do it all. Have a process in place to deal with requests for changing or adding to a project’s deliverables. Get the details about how much it will take to get additional, even better outcomes, done.

4. Lean on your team, and don’t take anything personally. You may think that no one knows the project
better than you do, but train yourself to listen. Often the team will figure out an answer when you do not deliver answers immediately. In fact, don’t take any business decisions to heart. You can seek consensus, but sometimes it is impossible to please everyone. “As project manager, you must think about the team, and you must also be a leader,” Hoard says.

5. You have power, use it. You may not have formal authority over the individuals assigned to your team.
“This set of circumstances and the need to reach projects goals means you need patience, diplomacy, empathy, and situational awareness to get things done,” Hoard says. Your talent is to work with everyone and consider how people can be motivated, how they work and think, and finally communicate as clearly as possible.

Creating schedules, tracking costs, and defining dependencies—are often the most seen parts of PM, but
are, in fact, the easiest things to do. “Let’s face it, any PM can move resources around, distribute meeting notes, and track tasks assigned. The most difficult, yet rewarding part of the job is working with people and love working with them to get work done,” Hoard says.

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10 Things Every Project Manager Must Know

5 Reasons to Turn Down a Project



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