How do project managers get the best from a project team?

5 critical man management tactics for project managers

No matter how strong your project plan, without willing participants you will not be successful. Thus, it is imperative that your project team is engaged with the plan, and that each individual member is committed to delivery and execution. A demotivated member of the team could miss deadlines and produce lower quality work. This is likely to have a domino effect on the rest of the team, threatening project success.

Project managers are managers of people as well as process

It is easy to assume that project management is process management. Yet, while managing the process of project execution is certainly an essential function of project management, man management is crucial. With competent project planning and effective man management of the project team, the process is more likely to run smoothly.

It is the project manager’s job to manage scope creep and avoid excessive demands on the project team that could lead to burn out. It is essential to engage the customer in the project process, showing how changes will impact the project and helping to inform better decision making. This should help to engage the project team, though there are several other approaches that effective project managers employ to ensure that all project team members are engaged in the project.

Here are five critical man management tactics that project managers should use on all projects.

1.      Know project team members individually

You should identify individual strengths and weaknesses, what skills and unique abilities each member brings to the team, and what each individual needs to do their job effectively.

2.      Set roles and goals

It is imperative that each team member has their role clearly defined, so that they know their responsibilities, duties, and how they fit in to the team effort. You should set guides with individuals to help them do their jobs, employing their existing skillsets to deliver project objectives.

3.      Ensure project competence

It is inevitable that you will afford each team member a degree of autonomy. Before you do, you should ensure that the individual possesses the required project competencies to solve problems and handle responsibilities. Only by doing so can you set defined latitudes of autonomy and ensure accountability is accepted.

4.      Recognise and reward

As milestones are accomplished, ensure that you recognise the efforts and achievements of individuals and the team. Often, a simple thank you is enough to motivate people to go the extra mile.

5.      Coaching

As a project manager you also a coach, identifying people who are struggling, understanding why, and coaching them until they are back on track.

Leadership is key

The days of dictatorial management are long gone. Today, managing a team effectively is more about the carrot than the stick. People want to solve problems. They want responsibility. They want to do a good job.

By giving people autonomy and respecting them for the work they do and the people they are, you are more likely to engage them in the project. When you empower people to self-manage, the autonomy you give them leads to more energised and effective teams.

The place to start is at the beginning of a project. Engage your team early in the planning stages, getting them involved in goal setting. You will create a greater sense of project ownership – vital to engagement.

To discover how effective project management could ensure your projects are delivered successfully, contact Your Project Manager today:

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