A project manager has a responsibility to initiate actions, plan, design, execute, monitor, and control the project. One of the key responsibilities is recognizing the risks related to the project, and reducing them through different problem-solving techniques. In other words, this person is responsible for the project’s overall success. According to a 2014 report from the Project Management Institute, almost half of the surveyed organizations (46%) reported they did not fully understand how valuable project management was for their success, although they understood that successful project management boosted the rate of strategic initiatives by 16%.
That data proves the result-oriented behavior in most organizations: although they don’t fully understand a project manager’s job, they still appreciate the success. In another report by PMI, it was estimated that poor project performance was the major culprit for government organizations wasting an average of $119 million for each billion they spend on programs and projects. It’s clear: a project manager is responsible for both success and failure.
Therefore, it’s important for the manager to do everything in their power to ensure successful completion of the business project.
How to Become a Great Project Manager through Team Building
How do you get into the hall of fame in this profession? One of the main characteristics of proper project management is creating a team-building atmosphere within the organization. The manager has to understand the project, plan the range of activities, and match the skills of each member of the team with suitable activities. When IT executives were asked to rate the difficulty of matching resource skills with demanding skills, 49% of them responded with somewhat difficult, and only 9% said that was not a difficult task for them.
Training, organizing, and monitoring a team is a difficult task. You are dealing with different characters and different sets of skills, so every decision you make needs to be carefully planned. You can get better at team building by following the practices of successful project managers. They share few common habits that make them great at what they do.
A proactive manager doesn’t wait for problems to occur before they start thinking of solutions. Instead of reacting to issues, they are one step ahead – they prevent them. Proactive attitude is a habit; it’s a way of thinking. In team management, proactivity is translated as proper communication with every worker involved in the project, as well as accountability of each team member for their part in the big picture. 49% of organizations invest in project management training programs. Shifting the managers’ mindset towards proactive attitude is one of the most important goals of those training sessions.
How can you develop this habit? You have to give yourself more space to plan and anticipate every possible issue that may occur. Determine the critical tasks and responsibilities, and encourage your people to do the same. Then, take care of the priorities.
2. Using the right software
Well-performing project managers have developed a common habit: they rely on project management software. According to a global survey on the current state of the maturity of project management, 77% of the organizations that participated used project management software, which was linked to high-performing projects.
As a project manager, you have to find the right software to use in a particular situation, and you need to train your team to do the same. Mavenlink, Smartsheet, and Wrike are only three of the many tools you can rely on. They will improve the communication within the team, and they will help you keep track of the workflow, regardless whether you’re dealing with an in-office or a remote team.
3. Recognizing failure before it happens
This habit is part of proactive behavior. 75% of IT and business executives anticipate the failure of their software projects. Although successful managers usually start their projects with high expectations, they recognize the problems below the surface right from the start.
The question is: what do they do about it? 80% of these professionals invest at least half their time on rework. They take care of all necessary fixes throughout the project in order to prevent the anticipated failure.
A study published by the Academy of Management Journal showed that although charismatic CEOs made more money, they made no difference in the performance of their corporations. This brings us to an unusual conclusion: although charismatic extroverted personalities give out the impression of being good leaders, they are not necessarily better than introverts.
Introverts have specific skills that are important for successful project management. One of them is understanding. They are not the ones you see talking non-stop during a meeting. They are doing something else – listening. That’s a very important habit you need to develop in order to become a master in this profession. Listen to other people’s opinions, evaluate the situation, and sharpen your perception. Process all information before making decisions, just like a smart introvert would do.
When you have a big project ahead, the long timeline may overwhelm both you and your team. 30% of project managers have a strategy of segmentation: they break up large projects into smaller sub-projects. Each segment comes with deliverables and evaluations, which help you to stay focused on the main goal while making it more achievable.
6. Investing in staff development
The performance of each member of your team makes significant contributions to the final result. Their skills are important for the success you’re going to achieve as a project manager, so you need to invest in their development. High-performing project managers understand that staff development programs have impact on the overall project performance. 43% of the respondents of a survey said they were often or always relying on such programs.
One of the top three skills required for successful project management was the ability to motivate team members (36% of the participants of a survey said motivational skills were crucial for the project’s success). You have a responsibility to be a mentor of the team, so you need to know how to implement the right motivational method at the right time.
You may rely on bonuses, teambuilding sessions, speeches, and other techniques that will help you get the best out of everyone. You’re responsible for creating a pleasant working atmosphere, so do your best to make your team members happy to come to work every day.
If you incorporate these seven habits into your daily project management practices, you will notice great improvement not only in the success of your project, but in your professional growth as well. Your team carries a huge responsibility regarding the outcome, so you have to improve your team building skills in order to make the process effective. With the right attitude, you’ll strengthen the team spirit and you’ll gain more respect from everyone.