It may seem to many that the work of a project manager is quite simple. That is, she or he needs to select the best specialists for the team and then simply coordinate their work to get the desired result. Ideally, everything looks like this. However, in reality, every project manager faces many pitfalls.
First, you should understand that when you are in charge of a project, then everything related to responsibility, fulfillment of plans, and achievement of the goal is completely on your shoulders. However, the specialists you gather will implement the project itself. This is why the ability to lead is not the highest priority. Importantly, you must build a team that will not only carry out the task but will be able to offer what will be best for the project.
Therefore, approach team organization thoughtfully. Make it a priority to choose people with whom you will want to work not only on the project at hand, but also on future projects.
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Remember That Time Is Money
It is best when you have specialists to whom you can set an abstract task and they will complete it quickly and efficiently. That is, you can say that there is such and such a problem or task, and if a person has deep knowledge in that field of activity, then they will not need precise guidance on how to solve the problem. They will know what they need to do.
This depth of knowledge effectively reduces the time it takes to complete the task. When a manager must give sugar-coated knowledge to each specialist of the team about what to do, what tools to use, and where to go, this wastes a lot of time.
However, it makes sense to assign a task to each team member that will be under that person’s control. If the person can take charge of the task without any extra prompts, they are as valuable as gold.
For example, let’s say you tell a designer that you need to present a product in a favorable light. Then with the help of that person’s professional knowledge and advanced tools, such as a tool to remove background from image or choose the perfect color scheme or something of that nature, they will be able to quickly present you with the result you expect.
Perfect Your Communication Skills
Many project managers make the mistake of looking for specialists who can find a common language with the team. They want to find someone who will try their best to avoid conflicts. However, this may not always be the best way to go about things.
Let’s say your team consists of people who are not like-minded. Each member has different personal characteristics. In this case, you will have a team that will soberly look at ways to achieve the goals. No problem will slip past them. It might be difficult for a project manager to interact with such a team. However, this is why you need soft skills in the first place. It will be your job to find an approach that appeals to everyone.
We are not talking here about resolving personality clashes. We are talking about specialists who will use their critical thinking for the benefit of the project.
Reinforce Shared Values
Although everyone will receive an assignment for a certain amount of work, it is necessary to come together in the beginning of the project to agree on common rules and values. This will guide all team members throughout the life cycle of the project.
Before the team begins to do its job, it is necessary to emphasize what is acceptable and what is not. Everyone should strive to ensure that each member of the team is comfortable working together.
You can even set a rule that states that no specialist should create additional problems for other team members while they are doing their work. For example, they should not overburden others with unnecessary work. If possible, everyone should perform easy assignments on their own, especially if someone else on the team is busy with other important tasks.
It is also important that no one is allowed to behave like a loner. Instead, everyone should feel they are a part of the team. Each member needs to try to understand every other member.
Allow Team Members to Work at Their Own Pace
When you distribute tasks, you agree with each specialist on the deadline. However, sometimes it turns out that a specialist might face some unexpected difficulties that require additional time.
In these cases, some professionals may be wary of telling you they need more time. This is because there may be more efficient employees around who do everything quickly and on time. Therefore they are afraid that they could be fired or removed from the project.
This is why it is important at the very beginning to create transparent communication. No one should be afraid to report difficulties. When such problems occur, you as project manager will be responsible for building a more efficient work plan. Then you, in collaboration with the team, can find ways to compensate for the extra time spent.
You need people who will not only do what is assigned to them but will also evaluate the effectiveness of a particular method of implementation. That is, you can hire people who can strictly follow what is written and wait for their salary, or you can hire people who will be motivated not only for results but also for efficiency.
For example, let’s say the terms of reference indicate what to do, but the specialist knows a different, more efficient way to accomplish that task. Such people are valuable assets, especially when they are not afraid to speak up and be proactive.
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Assemble Your Dream Team
Each project manager must effectively manage the people who participate on the team. Moreover, they must also be able to find people who will do everything in their power to complete the project as quickly and efficiently as possible. In this way, you will end up with a dream team with whom you can work not only on this project but also on future ones.
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