IAPM International Association of Project Managers

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5 tips for really good project management

1. Be a reliable helmsman and keep the project on course

This is one of the project manager’s most important roles and it separates the wheat from the chaff, i.e. the good project managers from the bad project managers.
Ensure that all work packages and activities are performed according to plan. Also be vigilant in preventing external interference in project processes and regularly check conformity with the current project charter.

2. Be a good captain by demonstrating your leadership strengths as project manager, but also be open and approachable

This is very important when acute issues arise because you can only take advantage of input about the project from your team if you actually listen to them. Good managers are trusted implicitly by their teams. That’s why leadership skills are a project manager’s most valuable asset. They play an important role in gaining and sustaining support for the project from stakeholders with different interests.

3. Be a visionary and inspire your team

Make it clear that the project isn’t an end in itself, but of inestimable value for the organisation and perhaps even for the entire sector or society as a whole. Many people cannot resist the opportunity to support or play an active role in a project if it will bring them personal prestige.

4. Be a proactive communicator and convince people by persistently promoting your project

Take advantage of every available communication channel to promote your project and communicate the progress you’ve made to participants and multipliers. Always ensure that everyone is kept up to date on the project’s status. Also remember to give praise when praise is due - it has a motivating effect on everyone involved and shows them how important the project is for the entire organisation.

5. Be a perfectionist and review your project

When your project closes out, always review how things have gone. Think about what went well and where you could have made improvements. Meet up with your team and ask them for their feedback. Always ensure that the review meeting has a positive atmosphere and that no fingers are pointed. The objective is to make a list of areas where optimisations can be made in the next project.

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