Project managers are relied upon to lead major tasks for businesses. From managing teams and making plans to organising budgets and collecting data, this is a varied role requiring a variety of skills and flexibility.
Whether you’re thinking about entering the project management industry as a freelancer or are already in this sector and want to improve, here’s some inspiration on how to be successful in this pivotal position.
Plan ahead with a workable timescale and budget
Before taking on a new project, it’s important to gather as much information as possible to ascertain exactly what’s expected of you. Once you know the full details of the task ahead, you’ll be in a better position to work out an estimated timescale along with establishing what resources are required. Going in blind could be a recipe for disaster, so being prepared saves you and your client a lot of hassle and headaches in the long run.
Setting interim targets is absolutely vital in making large projects scalable. Working to realistic, pre-set goals in bite-sized chunks is a much better method than trying to cram in everything at once in a disorganised fashion.
If you’re pushed for resources, focus on how you can provide the best quality with what’s available. Be vigilant with the budget forecast to leave room for any unforeseeable extras and make sure everybody in your team is on the same page at the beginning and at every stage going forward.
Prepare for the unexpected with Professional Indemnity Insurance
Nobody is perfect – not even the most experienced and capable of project managers. Therefore to take on a contract without protecting yourself from unforeseen circumstances places your business and professional reputation in jeopardy. From an unintentional breach of contract to a client accusing you of professional negligence for a failed project, having professional indemnity cover as part of a tailored project managers insurance plan is essential.
PI Insurance is the key to providing you with peace of mind so that you can confidently get on with your job. This type of cover protects you from any financial or trade losses suffered as a result of claims made against you for the likes of professional negligence, loss of data, breach of contract, defamation and copyright infringement.
Pick the right people and create an effective team
When it comes to project management, you’re only as good as your team. In order to achieve successful outcomes, you need people with the right skills who are able to work well with others. In many situations you’ll be working with people for the first time and will have to rely on second hand accounts of their abilities.
It’s therefore important to create a positive team dynamic from the get-go by delegating fairly and monitoring closely – especially during the early stages.
While you’ll want to be respected in your role as a leader, it’s also important to be approachable and create an environment where team members feel comfortable being honest and even critical of something which could in turn lead to much-needed improvements or changes along the way. An empowered team is an effective one.
Measure success at regular intervals
How will you know that a project is going well? From analysing data to getting feedback from the client on a regular basis to ensure they’re satisfied, you’ll want to keep on top of how everything is panning out as often as possible. After all, this is the only way you’ll know what is and isn’t working. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned and there definitely needs to be room for maneuvering. If things tumble into too much of a mess, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board.
Starting afresh and having slight delays is obviously a much better option than sticking to the original plan and failing terribly. Just make sure to keep everybody in the loop about what’s happening so that there aren’t any disagreements or unwelcome surprises at the end.