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4 steps to improve your Project Management skills

The life of a project manager can be fulfilling and exciting. But it can also be extremely stressful if there are too many mistakes or if things don’t go right. Luckily, with the right guidance, it’s possible to plan a smooth route from start to finish, mitigating any problems before they occur. 

This doesn’t mean it will definitely be simple: life never is! However, if we organize ourselves well and learn to delegate and make good decisions, then we will find ourselves on the path to success.

Below are four project management steps that are crucial for achieving good results.

1. Start off on the right foot

Start your project with a clear vision and set a set of goals that will help you complete your project successfully and on time.  A good start will instill enthusiasm in your team, as well as build confidence and initiative. A poor start could instead lead to mistrust, skepticism and poor engagement. 

To kick off your project with vigor, you need to ask the right questions: Draw up the “project charter“, a document that encapsulates vision and objectives and that involves all the interested parties necessary to carry out the project.

2. Delegate and make decisions

Being able to make a decision, often quickly , is a key skill of the project manager. Another crucial skill is the ability to delegate to individuals or teams in order to keep the project moving forward at a good pace.

For this to happen, you need to clearly define each task , which must be completed within a certain time frame.

Clarity is key. Clear instructions make progress happen quickly, while confusion is destabilizing and can cost you dearly. From the beginning, you need to build an “activity map” that details each element of the project, along with who will be responsible for what. It is also a good idea to allow flexibility for change requests. 

Decide on the approach now and ensure that all individuals involved take appropriate action.

3. Structure planning projects

Always with attention to agility, projects must be divided into phases or milestones. It is also necessary to define the way in which we intend to achieve these goals and measure the results. It is important to identify the necessary steps and ensure they are realistic and achievable.

You should also plan the timing of each phase , allowing your team to complete the work, do it well but without leaving room for too much procrastination and delay. There are several tools available that help you plan with agility, including Gantt chart and theTimeboxing.

4. Manage the steering committee

As a project manager, you will be held accountable for all life cycles of a project . This means you need to update the steering committee on progress and get support at key moments. For example, you may encounter obstacles that you need help with, or you may need extra resources (including a budget increase!).meetings must be handled skillfully and persuasively to make the committee your ally.

It takes a diverse set of skills to be a truly effective project manager. In addition to what we’ve mentioned, you need to show leadership, communication skills , and attention to feedback.

All of these skills can be developed over time , but it takes practice , persistence and commitment.

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