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5 Essential Tips for New Project Managers

Published By Hayley Eubanks

5 Essential Tips for New Project Managers

If you’re new to project management, you may find it incredibly difficult to delegate tasks, track resources, and keep up with team members. The thought of juggling multiple responsibilities at once might even be a bit overwhelming – don’t worry; that’s normal. The good news is that great project management practices go a long way towards ensuring that deadlines are met in a timely and efficient manner. And to achieve this, you first need to develop an action plan that keeps the channels of communication open across departments and teams, so everyone involved in a project knows what’s expected of them at all times. Learn more about this from our tips for new project managers.

It’s important to remember that in project management, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to managing teams. Every project is different, and before project managers can design an effective strategy, they need to consider the:

  • type of project being managed
  • needs and expectations of the customers and stakeholders
  • bylaws and policies of their organization

Above everything, you need to consider the industry you’re working in as you build a project roadmap. After all, methods for reaching project goals in a field like IT don’t necessarily translate over to an industry like construction, and vice versa. However, when it comes to general organizational skills, planning, and problem-solving, there are a few basic tips that can help you stay on top of your projects from start to finish.

  1. Start with a Formal Project Kickoff

The last thing you want to do is go into your project unprepared – especially if you’re new to project management. Hosting a formal project kickoff session lets you connect with everyone involved in the project, from team members to stakeholders, before officially beginning the project. While this may sound unnecessary, it’s a great way to make sure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page. Here are a few things you’ll want to confirm during the kickoff session:

  • Your stakeholders’ goals and expectations.
  • The resources available to complete the project.
  • Your project’s scope and timeframe.

Whether you decide to conduct your kickoff meeting over the phone or have a face-to-face meeting depends on the size and availability of your team. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long, extensive process so long as everybody involved is able to come together and finalize all important details.

2. Review Details with Your Team

There’s a strong possibility that the customer / stakeholders will give you a list of requirements before the project starts. If you don’t have this list, make sure to ask for it during the project kickoff, as it will help you better understand the outcomes you should be working to achieve.

What’s more, you want to include your team in the planning process once you’ve received this information. They’re the ones who’ll be actively working to complete these goals, so it’s a good idea to draw upon their knowledge and experience when creating your action plan. Not only will this create more cohesion between you and your team members, it’ll also give you an idea of what your team can achieve in a given time frame.2018 Survey Results on Project Collaboration Among Diverse Teams

3. Always Track Progress

Consistent reporting is an essential part of good project management. Without it, managers and team members couldn’t accurately measure their progress, which can inhibit their ability to meet deadlines. Thanks to project management technology, tracking the progress of your projects is easier than ever. With features like Gantt charts and Kanban boards, you can always tell how much your teams have accomplished and how far they are from the finish line.

4. Stay Up-to-Date with Budgeting

Projects don’t fail because of overspending. They fail when managers don’t keep track of the budget. One of the most common mistakes new project managers make is not keeping track of the budget after the launch of the project. As a rule, you should be assessing your project budget once a week. That way, if you do go over budget by a small amount like 10%, you can adjust and keep your project running smoothly. But if you don’t catch overspending until you’ve gone 50% or 60% over your budget, you could be too far gone to save your project.

5. Use a Smart Project Management Solution

Advancements in technology have made project management easier than ever, especially for new managers. When choosing a project management tool, it’s important to select a platform that’s powerful, yet easy to use. Platforms that offer a lot of rarely-used features may seem appealing, but they can be overwhelming to navigate. For this reason, it’s recommended to go with a tool designed specifically for project management.

Important features to look for in a software solution include:

  • Seamless communication between departments and team members.
  • Visual representation of progress that’s updated in real time as team members complete tasks.
  • The ability to add, remove, and modify tasks as the scope of the job changes.

Are you an accidental project manager who happened to be thrown into a leadership position without any prior training? If so, ProjectPlace is perfect for you. Its intuitive platform is simple enough to accommodate new and accidental management, while powerful enough to meet the needs of traditional project managers.

ProjectPlace makes it easier for teams to collaborate on projects, schedule deadlines, and share information from anywhere in the world. With Gantt charts and Kanban boards, team members can achieve their goals faster and project managers can track performance more effectively.

Learn more about ProjectPlace and how it can be used to enhance your project management workflow.

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Written by Hayley Eubanks

Hayley Eubanks is a Content Marketing Specialist at Planview, leading content creation and strategy for social media and the Planview blog. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Marketing with a minor in English.