When you’re heading up a project it can feel like the best thing in the world. A team by your side, fantastic things to do now, brilliant goals on the horizon.
But how should you behave? Is it a matter of winging it with gut instinct? Or is there more to it?
Read on and allow us to share with you our:
5 ESSENTIAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT BEHAVIOURS
1 – Evidence-based decision-making
A guts and glory attitude is just the ticket for Hollywood movies but projects need something a little more considered. Skillful project managers know which questions to ask, or which things to monitor, in order to get the most helpful results to help with decision-making. But it’s not just about analysing cold data. In fact, the sole analysis of numbers alone can lead to project destruction.
A rounded, evidence-based approach will incorporate performance metrics as well as real-life human perspectives on events. The data may ‘suggest’ one thing, while the people suggest something else. To that end, decision-making made with the best available information is essential.
It is also vital to have the nerve to change your decision if new, more pertinent information means that your previous decision is no longer the best option.
2 – Open-minded curiosity
This behaviour is especially critical when receiving ‘bad news’. It can be easy to become flustered, agitated or angry when bad news comes in. Perhaps a delay has been announced, or a supplier has misinterpreted a drawing or the client won’t settle an invoice. Remember – it’s just ‘news’ – don’t consider it as ‘bad news’.
The best course of action in such an instance is to pause and consider why that situation has arisen. Taking a moment to pause and consider will stop the chance of any insults being thrown (either by you or the bearer of the news) and will give you time to assess what to do next. Also, if you criticise the sharing of ‘bad news’ then your team are less likely to report it in the future, and the stifling of bad news can lead to poor project performance.
The curiosity aspect will allow you to ask whether the statement is correct (where is the evidence?) and whether the event is actually a problem – just because it has been presented as a problem doesn’t mean it is a problem. With your open-mindedness you can work out how best to mitigate the problem – perhaps by seeing it from a different perspective.
3 – Trustworthiness
Trust is something that needs to be earned and the best way to earn it is to be trustworthy.
In short, that means doing what you say you are going to do.
For instance, if you say you’ll meet someone at a particular time then be there at that time, if not a little earlier.
If you’re going to be late, let the other person know at the earliest opportunity.
With trust in your repertoire, the people in your project are more likely to treat you as a credible leader.
4 – Awareness
Projects don’t occur in a vacuum. There is always something going on. Sometimes those factors are outside the ‘bubble’ of the project, sometimes those factors are within the project.
Being aware of the project, and the environment within which it is operating, means that you can act accordingly. This ‘awareness’ includes self-awareness too.
Using the same management method in every project might not always work. Sometimes, for example, your ‘old faithful’ methods will cause friction with a new team. Use your awareness to fine tune your behaviours and methods to ensure your team and your project is running like a well oiled machine. So take a look around, see what you can see and consider how you can use it to help the project.
5 – Enjoy it!
I’ve seen some project managers really hate the experience of running a project. The reasons have differed but I have never shared their outlook. Leading a project is one of the most satisfying things that you can do. There is a whole heap of responsibility on your shoulders, there is a lot to achieve, lots of people to keep informed and lots of obstacles to avoid. But it’s exciting stuff! You’re in the master position to help your team navigate a way to a successful finish. You have the ability to manoeuvre your squad to put them in the best position to help them have a great time by allowing them to do what they do best.
And, projects don’t last forever. Enjoy the ride while it lasts!
If you’d like further help to weave the best project management traits into your working day then drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Because you deserve to be a happy monkey too!