Be a better project manager in 2020
Remember January 2019’s lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions? That determination to be a better you, be fitter and healthier, learn a new skill, or spend less? What if you change your approach for next year? The new calendar year is a great time to take ownership of your career development and vow to be a better project manager.
That’s right, our first tip for being a better project manager is to work less! A recent work life study has shown that workers average just 2 hours and 48 minutes of productive device time a day. In this way, overworking and working long hours is unlikely to be worthwhile. In fact, research shows that when our work-life balance is thrown off, our sleep becomes impaired, we’re more likely to feel stressed, and less likely to get things done.
So, what better way to prioritise your career advancement than working smarter not longer, to stay productive and avoid burnout.
Taking time to reflect on how this year has been for you as a project manager can be really beneficial. Consider how you have communicated with your team, stakeholders, and clients in 2019 and if there are areas for improvement. You should also take into account your team’s view of how you communicate.
Make simple tweaks to be seen more, be available, ask questions and discuss issues. Prioritise effective communication in 2020 and you are bound to reap the rewards.
Eliminate unnecessary meetings
Before you start penciling in loads of meetings to improve communication, remember tip number one – work smarter!
By eliminating unnecessary meetings, such as full team catch-ups every week, you will free up your time for smaller meetings to discuss any issues that have arisen. This will also enable your team to crack on with the work at-hand and be more productive.
Take a course
As part of your New Year’s resolution to be a better project manager in 2020, why not fill a skills gap by taking a course?
Our PRINCE2 courses teach you leading project management skills, improving your knowledge and working practices. This qualification is also hugely beneficial for improving your future employment prospects. We offer online and virtual courses which are really convenient for busy project managers.
Better your negotiation skills
Perhaps your negotiation skills were your downfall? You are not alone. Balancing what a client or stakeholder wants versus what your project team can realistically offer can be extremely testing. But as a project manager, it is often part of your role to be the middleman and to negotiate with all parties.
Preparation can go a long way when trying to reach mutually beneficial agreements so be sure to set aside time to carry out research before important talks. Read up on further tips and negotiation techniques used by professionals, or even consider talking to a negotiation coach if this is an area where you struggle.
Ticking tasks off the to-do list is one thing, but getting them done to a high standard is another. Improving the quality of your deliverables is sure to pay off. This will vary massively dependent on your industry, and from project to project, but may involve investing in new technology, bringing in a new team member or skillset. Simply motivating or training your project team to push the boundaries of doing their best could also help.
Taking steps to improve the quality of deliverables this year is sure to impress stakeholders, and do wonders for your reputation as a project manager.