Many businesses turn to project managers to improve work efficiency and ensure that projects are carried out on schedule. They oversee every aspect of a project, from planning to the closing phase. They might also have to assemble the team, set timelines, ensure that deliverables arrive on time, and coordinate with other stakeholders. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the success of a project hinges on the skills of the one overseeing it.
Whether you run a small business or have hired software-development outsourcing services to do the work for you, it pays to learn a few project management skills. Even if you don’t manage any teams yourself, you can apply these techniques in other aspects of your work.
Here are a few skills every small business owner needs to know.
1. Set realistic explanations
Every good manager should be realistic about what they and their team can achieve. Before starting any project, you need to lay the groundwork to ensure your team can meet their deliverables on time and within budget. You don’t want to overpromise and under deliver, and disappoint all the stakeholders in the process.
Two critical aspects of any successful project are transparency and sustainability. If you say a project that needs six months to finish can be done in four months, you risk overworking your team, and you might get a subpar product as a result. If need be, communicate to the relevant stakeholders the limitations of the project.
2. Know the ins and outs
No one knows a project better than its manager. They know who the clients are, what they want, and the results they expect from the team. With that in mind, they should be able to form a plan to ensure that those expectations are met. That can entail defining the essential roles within the team and the success criteria that have to be fulfilled.
3. Focus on the bigger picture
It’s perfectly normal to want everything to be perfect, but striving for perfection can derail the project. You need to understand that many unforeseen factors could harm the outcome. A manager should know when to let something go and focus on the bigger picture. As long as you’ve met the success criteria, then you’ve done your job.
Focusing on every little detail can also extend the timeline. Concentrate on the bigger goals, and leave the fine-tuning for later.
4. Master time management
One of the most critical skills any manager needs to learn is effective time management. You can employ time management techniques to improve both your personal and professional life.
For starters, a plan with a clear timeline allows you to make better decisions when it comes to what needs to be done. If you try to work without a plan, you might end up wasting time and resources that could’ve been used for other things.
The pointers above can help you better plan and manage projects in the future. You’re probably not going to get everything right on your first try, but if you approach every project with a critical eye, you should be able to see what needs to be done and identify any mistakes you might have made.