If you’re new to the field of project management, then you might have several questions in mind - how, where, when with countless ifs and buts. While this is natural for a new manager, those with years of experience in this field are also unaware of several crucial aspects of this role. Mistakes can happen easily when you have gaps in your knowledge which undermines projects and workflow.
It takes a lot of skills and knowledge to do this role well.
So, in order to help you speed quickly as a manager, I’m highlighting the top 5 things you’re not aware of about project management. Let’s take a look.
1. Scope Change is Inevitable
Project scope defines determining and documenting the specific project tasks, goals, deliverables and deadlines. It acts as a baseline along which the project moves through the project life cycle. Things appear to be clear and easy when the project scope is defined in the beginning but eventually change requests are being made by the project stakeholders and clients. During such situations, it becomes hard for the manager to decline such requests because the ultimate goal is the client’s satisfaction.
In order to deal with scope creep, the manager should use a change management process in which the following points are put into action every time a request is made:
- Identify the business value of the change.
- Figure out the consequences if the change is not made.
- Determine how the schedule and budget are affected.
- Prepare a list of all the pros and cons of the change.
Once you’re done with the above points, communicate your analysis to the client so that they have a clear sight of how the project will be affected. If the client approves the change, then you should start executing the required changes.
2. You Must Keep Up With Technology
In a study done by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini consultancy, it was found that 1,559 executives and managers from different industrial backgrounds believe in the ability of technology to bring transformative changes to business.
Since technology is upgrading and updating every other day, it is must for you to keep up with ongoing technological advancements. A software tool that used to work back in the year 2000 will not work today - tools like email, MS office are outdated for managing teams and work.
These days companies prefer to work on cloud based project management and collaboration tools because these save much of their time and effort which ultimately helps the business grow. The majority of these software systems are packed with advanced features for data sharing, task management, reporting, project planning and much more.
The added advantage is that managers dealing with remote teams can communicate in real time using these apps.
3. Project Management Requires Constant Learning
For a manager it is quite crucial to understand the value of continuous learning. Stagnant water gets contaminated and is harmful for use whereas continuous flowing water is fresh and pure. Similarly, a manager needs to update and upgrade to gain new knowledge and skills.
This will not only be beneficial for the organization but for you individually too, as you will be able to think and act in different situations more efficiently. You can attend pmp training and bootcamps and put the knowledge to use in your day-to-day work routine as well as studying for qualifications.
4. You Can’t Do Everything
Delegation of work is one of the essential tricks of the trade. Without effective delegation, it becomes hard for a manager to handle teams, projects and clients, be it a large enterprise or a small business. You should understand that doing everything on your own would end up things in mess and confusion.
The better way is to appropriately distribute the work to team members. However, this doesn't mean giving away crucial tasks that need your attention and expertise; distribute work according to your team’s skills and interests.
5. Oral and Written Skills Are Essential
Communication, be it verbal or written, plays a substantial role in project management. It is not only to transfer information from one end to the other, but to make sure that information reaches the recipient correctly. Having a good grip over the project management vocabulary will help everyone to easily understand so as to what you’re referring to.
Oral communication (including face to face conversations, meetings, seminars, group discussions, etc). demands an excellent grip over the language. Additionally, voice modulation, pronunciation and facial expressions help in conveying ideas to the audience more effectively.
Similarly, in written skills the accuracy of content plays the major role. Information in the form of facts and statistics is transformed through different documents such as memos, reports, manuals, notices, and circulars. A manager should ensure that there are no grammatical and spelling errors in the content because such mistakes can result in wrong information being communicated to the receiver.
No matter which industry you are a part of, working as a manager you’re likely to encounter with above-mentioned situations. The key here is that dealing efficiently with such situations will strengthen your reputation.