11 Habits Of Highly Effective Project Managers

Getting the right people to handle business projects is the first step in the journey to reach the top. Companies spare no effort to hire the best talent in the industry. These managers have the skills and experience to get complex jobs done. It is one of the reasons why they make good hires in the long run.

Some of them hold PMP ,ITIL and PRINCE2 credentials. It is proof of their commitment to excellence in project management. They set targets and achieve results within a set timeframe.

Good project managers follow a healthy set of habits at the workplace. We present eleven qualities that make them stand out from the rest:

1. Setting up Project Scope: 

The first thing you must do before starting work on a project is set up the project scope. It outlines all the kind of work that is possible for a specific project. It covers areas from work resources, schedules and infrastructure. It is sometimes referred to as the bible of project managers. If a project scope is finalized and maintained, then the project is bound to be successful. Any deviation in the project scope leads to changes in all levels of work and cause stress.

2. Managing Work Schedules:

The next step is to create realistic work schedules. Different projects need different approach for work. What applies to one project may not apply to another. The infrastructure and resources are the two pillars on which projects are built. A good project manager ensures the project scope is adhered to when allotting work. Having well defined team roles and factoring the risk helps create a good work schedule.

3. Project Budgeting:

The cost involved to get a project up and running is a vital part of managing projects. It involves setting up infrastructure and taking third party services. In some companies, the board level members decide what the budget for a project should be. It is a constraint that needs a lot of care while planning projects. Managers set realistic targets when assigning budgets for projects. They calculate the project risk associated and take all precautions to ensure work continuity.

4. Hiring Right People:

It is in the best interest of a company to let the right people in the team. They understand the work ethics and align their thoughts with a common vision. Such people end up becoming an asset to the company and their habits can rub off on the rest of the team members. They must not get in to the team just for the sake of hiring, but they must add value to the existing processes.

5. Achieve Process Compliance:

The process based approach of handling projects is effective to get the best results. It helps team members understand the dynamics of a project. Professional certifications ensure that managers are familiar with different models of process approach. They apply the basics taught in these courses and set modules for process compliance. It helps managers identify defects in a process and make them more efficient.

6. Accepting Mistakes: 

One of the hallmark of a good manager is to accept that mistakes are a part of life. We get to work with people at work, interact with clients. Sometimes mistakes do happen and it must be handled in a delicate manner. There should be no ill will towards the team or clients. It shows that as a manager you are grounded and approachable.

7. Communicating with Team:

The work culture in a team depends on good communication levels. As a manager, if you keep in constant touch with the team members for work related issues, you get to learn a lot. You will be able to understand how team members think and what ideas they have about their projects. These insights can help you shape decisions to improve the process further. 

8. Avoiding Blame: 

It is very easy to blame others when the prospect of failure is imminent. In such a case, good managers exercise restraint and ensure that a culture of blaming does not exist. If one blames the other in the course of work, then it might lead to unwanted discord within the team. This in turn will affect the work and lead to high stress levels. Avoiding blame at the workplace will help create a positive atmosphere.

9. Dealing with Failures:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is possible that a project can face failure. In such a situation, managers must take a lead and set an example by analyzing what went wrong. The morale of the team will be low when a project fails. If a manager uses encouraging words and sets a plan to rebound from failure, it is a step in the right direction. Team members get motivated to take up initiatives for future work. Failure should be like a stepping stone and one must move on as fast as possible to the next project.

10. Use of Technology:

Managers must make optimum use of technology for their projects on a need to basis. Automation must be in use only for the simplest of tasks and not for work where business acumen is needed. There must be limits for technology while handling projects. It has the potential to make things easier as well as disrupt work. The resources and infrastructure must always be given first preference over technology. This ensures that you have more control and make changes where it is applicable.

11. Effective Negotiation Skills: 

The most important skill for any manager is to negotiate in a smart manner with the clients to get projects. The demands of a client will always be more work in a lesser budget. Managers have to be wary of the client's needs and work around them to scale the amount of work. Getting the client to agree to a leaner process for a project is an art a few possess. The reputation of a company depends on how it delivers its projects in time. If the deal is negotiated well in the first place, half the job is completed right there.

These eleven skills enable managers to create streamlined processes. Good managers add value to the company and develop new strategies to achieve growth. They bring new innovative ideas to the table and help build teams with high quality output.

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James Powell