3 Important Lessons You Will Learn as a Project Manager
Project management is filled with opportunities for growth. Project managers must always learn new skills and be willing to grow with companies and projects.
However, some lessons in project management cannot be taught; they must be learned from experience. Take a look at these important lessons and how they will advance your career.
1. Structure Is Critical to Success
A project is only as good as its structure. Many tasks and activities rely on the successful, high-quality completion of the previous tasks and activities. Structure reduces stress on the project manager and project management team.
For example, project managers who understand what’s going on, why it’s happening how much it costs, when it will be completed, and how well it will be completed can eliminate many of the stresses in their responsibilities. This leads to better relationships between project team members and project managers.
2. There's a Difference Between Hearing and Listening
Think about the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a simple concept, but listening engages the mind and creates an insightful conversation.Project managers must learn to listen and understand what others are saying. While this concept seems simple, it can be complicated. This goes back to the need to read between the lines and understand non-verbal communication.
For example, “tired workers” may seem like they only want a day off. However, they could be on the verge of suffering from heat exhaustion. A 60-hour week may not seem like much, but it increases the risk of illness and injury. For project managers, each of these issues may cause delays. Ultimately, project managers who listen to the concerns and thoughts of others will be more likely to make a reasonable judgment call to complete the project.
3. Don't Underestimate Members of the Project Management Team
Project managers have the ultimate responsibility in a project, but some projects can include thousands, if not millions, of tasks and activities. Imagine a 125-floor project. Project managers can’t actually read every document for this project and make calls on how to handle problems with every single issue. This is where assigning responsibility comes into play.
Project managers should value the leadership and skills of project management team members. As a result, project managers must be willing to relinquish the control of certain parts of the project to members of the project management team. This builds rapport between team members and the project manager.
However, project managers must also ensure the assigned responsibilities are not menial. In other words, project managers should give team members an opportunity to rise above expectations.
As a project manager, you have plenty of options for growing your career and learning more about the industry, but the most important lessons in project management come from experience. By understanding these fundamental lessons in project management, you can become a better project manager and tackle more complex projects in the future.
- Maintaining structure is the most important lesson of project management.
- Listen to and understand your team members.
- Grow the skills of your project team members by assigning responsibilities.