Want To Be A Successful Project Manager? Avoid These Things
Project managers may think that as long as they get the project done in time that they’ve succeeded. But along the way to done, there’s a lot of don’ts that may strain your relationship with your fellow employees. Since your job as a project manager isn’t just about managing the project but managing the people, you want to bring out their best work at the most efficient AND productive pace. Here are things to avoid in order to be a successful project manager.
Do Not Blame or Shame Employees
As a project manager, it may be easier for you to hold others accountable than to hold yourself accountable. But what if it was your lack of communication or misunderstood communication that led to someone making a mistake? Do you have the guts to own up to that communication fumble or do you lay blame solely on your subordinate? Evaluate your role in problems that crop up and take full responsibility for your mistakes. This establishes trust amongst the whole team and in turn, makes other people feel comfortable admitting fault or asking for clarification. This level of personal responsibility and open communication kills tension, shame, and fear. When employees feel like they can ask questions, admit confusion, and make mistakes, they make fewer mistakes because they’re caught earlier and communication is clearer.
Underestimate, NOT Overestimate Ability To Make Deadlines
Always assume tasks will take three times as long so you can leave yourself and your team ample time. And do not make assumptions about how long things take in the first place. Ask the creators or people you’ve assigned tasks their estimates of how long it will take and then extend it accordingly. Yes, people do work well under pressure and deadlines certainly help that. But in turn, people work best under realistic deadlines, not impossible ones and you want quality work on time, not good enough work in the nick of time. Perhaps you’ll come to see with certain employees, having a fake, fast deadline and then actually a secret week after gets them to pump work out but then hone it the following week. Whatever the case may be, it’s smart management to assume things take longer so you’re safe and prepared rather than scrambling and squirming.
Do Not Be A Dictator
Do not assume you know everything and create an atmosphere of silent subservient slaves. Your product will most certainly fail with leadership like this. You are fallible. You do not know everything. And just because you’re managing a product’s timetable does not mean you have all the answers. Ask your co-workers and employees for feedback on your execution plan and even your style. What works as a dynamic with one person, may stress another person out. This is a position that relies on emotional intelligence as much as organization skills and you need to make an effort to understand people, not just bark orders at them. Being willing to apologize, take responsibility for mistakes, and ask for clarification or feedback will deliver the best possible product and an even more manageable team.