If you are new to project managing or a seasoned pro, there is no doubt professional development involves learning to improve. Every project is different, and you must adapt and meet the needs of the business and lead different types of staff. So, what are the critical elements for successfully managing a project and a team?

Communication

Effective communication is essential for any role that includes engaging with colleagues or employees, but managing staff can be tricky at times. As a Project Manager, you may need to deal with many different situations that require a unique skill set.

Open communication within a team setting should be encouraged, and you should make yourself approachable and easy to talk to. You can do this in different ways as several or more successful management styles have been long established. Lead by example and ask your team for suggestions and opinions to promote openness and show that each member is valuable and appreciated.

When giving instructions, be clear and answer questions promptly; this will help avoid misunderstandings and wasted time.

Effective Software

Using the right software can significantly reduce time spent on time-consuming tasks and reduce workload. For example, investing in asset management & maintenance software will provide an all-in-one solution for electronic reporting and data tracking, as well as real-time data information.

The digital revolution has created sophisticated options for companies and eliminated the need for complicated paper files and separate programs for every function. Compare the different options on the market to find the right software for your business model.

Training

Part of successful project management is ensuring your team has the right tools and knowledge for the job. When setting objectives at the beginning of the project, identify gaps in training and address them immediately.  Organize training meetings or assign a mentor to help and guide less experienced staff.

As you get to know your team well, you will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Some may need more assistance, and others can be left to work independently. Try not to micromanage those who are capable and give more responsibility when required.

It is also valuable to undergo personal project management training to equip you better to lead a team. There are various online or classroom-based courses you can apply for, so do some research for the right one.

Time Management

It is essential to establish how much time to allocate to each component at the beginning of a project. This can be tricky, and you should retain some flexibility and allow for changes or unforeseen situations. Adding deadlines is a good motivator and essential for a team to be productive. Time is money, and management is mindful that wasting time is not cost-effective. However, deadlines that are too tight can be counterproductive and cause people to rush, compromising quality.

Conflict

With the best will in the world, sometimes you will need to deal with conflict.  Different personality traits and misunderstandings arise in the workplace, and the project manager should be swift about addressing them.

The first approach is to talk and find out details. Be kind but assertive and show staff you are committed to solving the problem and moving on. If the problem is project-related, try and reach a compromise, this often resolves conflict, allowing peace to return.