Project Management

7 Tips for Thinking Like a Project Manager

While project management is a career in and of itself, there’s plenty we can learn from these individuals who excel at getting things done. Taking on the project management mindset adds value in any role, in any business, of any size.

If you struggle to manage your time and get things done, embracing the project manager mindset can help you put productive structures and protocols in place to accomplish your goals. Here are seven practical tips for thinking like a project manager.

Learn to Look at the Big Picture

To adopt the project manager mindset, you must be able to look at the bigger picture. Every action you take within your business, as an entrepreneur or an employee, is woven into the larger tapestry of your organization. In other words, everything you do (or don’t do) will have a ripple effect.

Learn to take a step back and understand the project or systems as a whole before diving in. Learn to look for contingencies and repercussions, opportunities, and potential. Understand what aspects of the bigger picture are integral for success and what smaller sticking points could distract you from achieving your goal.

Learning to look at the whole picture before diving in is the core of a project manager’s mindset. You have no time to get stuck in the minutiae if you want to keep moving forward. 

Learn to Identify and Eliminate Waste

Learning to identify and remove waste is an invaluable project management skill. In fact, the prestigious Six Sigma Green Belt certification deeply explores this concept to develop this skill in high-level project managers and development teams.

Learn to scan for and identify waste in all areas of your business. This waste could pertain to anything from wasted time and money to wasted talent and potential—for example, not giving a high-potential employee more responsibility because it doesn’t fall within their job description.

Identifying waste presents an opportunity to streamline processes and improve productivity and profitability. It’s a valuable skill for both entrepreneurs and employees at all levels of a business.

Understand that Timing is Everything

Pushing timelines is ugly work, but it’s essential for long-term success. Project managers understand that a little delay here and there adds up to months at the other end of a timeline. In some cases, those small, subsequent delays result in lost opportunities for success.

Learn how to assign time expectations to work and the importance of setting priorities and being proactive. Incorporate discipline in all of your routines, and implement the tools you need to stick to the path ahead.

Always Hold a Post-Mortem

Whether you succeed in reaching a goal or fall short, a post-mortem celebration and review should always be a part of the process. This experience provides an opportunity to celebrate your efforts and acknowledge anyone who contributed.

A lack of success is only really a failure if you fail to learn from it. Take the time to discuss what went wrong in a project and use those learnings for future goals.

Create Actionable, Accountable Tasks

Assigning actions, due dates, and names to each task in the most effective way to avoid the bystander effect in your business. By clarifying these details, there’s no risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

When working with a team, it’s important to understand that other people have different priorities. Facilitate an open-door policy and remind people to communicate when they can’t meet expectations.

Be Adaptable

While a great plan will minimize surprises and delays, it’s natural for things to go askew. A project manager understands that and is always ready to adapt. Be optimistic and understand that there’s always a way forward; you just have to be prepared to adapt.

Always Schedule Planning and Buffer Time

Finally, plan time for planning. It sounds ludicrous, but planning takes time. If you fail to account for that time and prepare for it, it will get put on the backburner. You should also incorporate buffer time into every aspect of your planning to stay ahead of your timeline.

With these seven strategies, you can adopt the project manager mindset and improve processes in your business.

About the author

Tirupati Gumpula

Hi, I'm a Tech Enthusiastic and founder of Popular technology blogsWay to Hunt. & Elite Tricks. Want to promote your brand? Email: [email protected]

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