How Do Project Managers Get Work Done?

by Jun 7, 2022Blog, Project Management, Solutions

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You’re tasked with managing a team of project managers. How do you do that? You can’t just be one person and expect everything to go smoothly. You need to delegate tasks, set expectations, and take care of all the little details to ensure the team stays on track. You’ll start to panic when you see those project management acronyms if you’re anything like me. How the heck do you get all that work accomplished? Fear not. You don’t need a master’s in project management to get your team working efficiently. There are some helpful tips that you can implement right away to make your life as a project manager a little easier.

How Do Project Managers Get Work Done?

You’re tasked with managing a team of project managers. How do you do that? You can’t just be one person and expect everything to go smoothly. You need to delegate tasks, set expectations, and take care of all the little details to ensure the team stays on track. You’ll start to panic when you see those project management acronyms if you’re anything like me. How the heck do you get all that work accomplished? Fear not. You don’t need a master’s in project management to get your team working efficiently. There are some helpful tips that you can implement right away to make your life as a project manager a little easier.

Plan for the future

To plan for the future, you must look at the past. Once you have a view of what has been done and what is currently being done, you can use your knowledge to look into the future. And just like that, you’re planning ahead.
To get started with planning ahead, it helps to do some research and talk to other people who might know more about past projects and those who are part of current ones. When you’ve gathered enough information about all three points in time, create a list of what needs to be accomplished next. From there, you can prepare for upcoming work by learning everything there is to know about these tasks.

Get help from your team.

Although most job seekers believe that being a control freak is a sign of leadership, it indicates incompetence. If you’re micromanaging every aspect of your team’s jobs, you’re doing yourself and your company more harm than good.
Don’t let your team run off without you knowing what the hell’s going on. After all, even if they’re using their initiative to accomplish tasks outside your direct area of supervision (and hoping you won’t notice), it’s still important to get involved when needed. That way, when the time comes for them to report back to you about their progress or any issues they ran into, you’ll have all the information needed to come up with a solution.

As far as delegating goes, let people do what they do best—or at least try them out because you might be surprised how much they can contribute—and learn how they work best by observing how they communicate with other team members and clients. The goal is to make sure everybody knows who’s responsible for what and why at every stage of the project so that everyone can act accordingly and maximize their output while staying in line with the project’s overall goals.

Communicate effectively and often

Communication is a project manager’s job. Being able to communicate clearly keeps projects on track and teams motivated. As you move through the race, you’ll want to keep everyone informed about the details of the course, how well team members are performing and what hurdles may be coming up ahead. Likewise, ask for feedback from your runners–especially when things aren’t going smoothly.
By communicating expectations early in the race, you can motivate your team and get everyone working towards a common goal. Discussing issues that arise along the way will keep all participants focused on meeting their goals and allow them to overcome their challenges together as a team.

Set goals with realistic deadlines

Setting deadlines for each project activity is the only way to ensure that all team members work in a timely, synchronous manner. It’s essential to set realistic deadlines, as missing them can cause you and your team undue stress and negatively affect your stakeholders’ trust in your abilities. Another option is to break up less-than-urgent tasks into multiple milestones so that each one has its deadline.

Additionally, ensure that you have clearly communicated your deadlines with other key stakeholders so they can be aware of any relevant dates or periods. Finally, don’t forget to review these deadlines regularly as the project progresses and make adjustments if necessary.

Know when and how to say no

Here are some tips for whether you should say no or yes.

  • Keep in mind that the people on your team need to be able to trust you. If you won’t commit, it could appear as though you’re giving other people more responsibility than they deserve, which can frustrate them and undermine their authority.
  • The worst thing you can do is say yes when you don’t want to. Don’t put in more hours than you want to; don’t let an opportunity slip by because of an impulse to jump on board.
  • When in doubt, ask somebody else. It’s a good rule of thumb: if three people think it’s a good idea, it probably isn’t worth doing.

Manage your own time

When it comes to managing projects, one of the best and most overlooked ways to stay efficient is through planning. Keep a project plan in mind from the start. If you’re unsure how much time you’ll have for certain tasks, write them down on a priority list, and then work backward. It’s important to remember that even if you know all the deadlines associated with your next big project, it’s still important that you prioritize appropriately to get everything finished on time—and finish them as we must.

One of the top things that can harm our productivity is overburdening ourselves with too many tasks at once. We need to learn how to recognize when we need help or when we’ve taken on too much and should step back and delegate some work or prioritize other tasks higher up on our list so that they receive more of our attention.

Learn from the past

No matter what, you need to learn from your past. Did you fail on a previous project? Learn from it! Did you succeed on a previous project? Learn from that too. It’s essential to make sure that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. On the contrary, you want to repeat the same successes over and over again.

If you don’t have enough previous work experience or have been unlucky in your past projects, talk to other people’s experiences instead. The main point is that there are many lessons for you to learn from others’ mistakes and others’ triumphs!

You should also make sure not to forget about the challenges you have already overcome. No matter how small they are, always remember them because they prove what can be done with hard work and persistence!

Stay motivated.

Be strategic. If you’re working on something important, but it’s not going the way you want, look at what you like best about your work and see if there are other things you can do to make it more appealing. Talking about your job with friends and family can really keep the motivation going when things aren’t going well.

Be organized. Think about how your day is going before it starts so that you get started in the right direction. An excellent example of this is to set goals for yourself first thing in the morning and try to achieve them all throughout the day instead of changing plans halfway through tasks and then forgetting why you wanted to do them in the first place.

Think creatively.

You shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box.

If your current strategy isn’t producing the desired results, or if you are dealing with a fresh challenge, try looking at it from a different angle. What other resources do you have available to help tackle this problem? What hasn’t been tried before? Is there a new way of approaching it? How could you explain your goal in a more precise and compelling manner? How would this affect different audience members differently?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

As project managers, we have a tendency to be confident and proactive, which is excellent. But sometimes, that confidence can get in the way of asking for help when you need it. Along with making sure your team is on track (see tip #1) and getting your work done well ahead of schedule (tip #2), knowing when to say ‘I need help or ‘I don’t know’ will set you apart as a project manager people want to work with again and again.

Not only does asking for help free up some of your mental bandwidth so that you can focus on other tasks, but it also shows everyone else around you that you’re not afraid to admit the occasional vulnerability. It’s a sign that you’re self-aware enough to know when something needs assistance from someone better equipped than yourself. Plus, showing that humility tends to inspire trust in others and build positive working relationships—and what’s more important for project management than building strong teams?

Be open-minded.

Being open-minded can also make you more likely to get hired! A study by CareerBuilder found that 77 percent of employers are looking for adaptability when it comes to hiring. The knowledge and skills you may have learned at the beginning of your career might not be applicable in today’s job market. That’s why it’s essential to keep up with new trends and be willing to learn something new.

Being open-minded doesn’t just help you get a job; it also helps you become a better manager. When you adopt an attitude of openness and curiosity, your team will feel comfortable sharing ideas with you and developing a good working relationship with you.

Conclusion

Project managers have a lot on their plate, and there can be many things that distract them from getting their work done. You can help yourself be more productive by implementing these techniques and avoiding these mistakes. With a little bit of effort, you can easily make your job as a project manager much easier. The key is to use these tips and techniques and remember that they’re just techniques! They’re meant to be used every day to become second nature and part of your project management routine.

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