Successfully Manage Your Next Project With Finesse


Coastal storm risk reduction project on Long Beach Island. Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Being able to successfully manage any project depends not only on what you do, but how you do it. The attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, and values that you espouse as a Project Manager can have a significant impact not only the performance of your project team, but the project's outcome as well. We have gathered a few thoughts on how you can skillfully approach and manage your next project with finesse.

Encourage Feedback From Your Team

While managing a project imbues you with a certain degree of authority, it is always wise to take feedback from your team seriously. As the ones doing much of the work, they would be in a much better position to help you identify what’s working and what’s not. Be approachable and foster feedback. When trying to devise plans or deciding on how to move forward, encourage your team to brainstorm and submit their own ideas. Doing so not only helps your project to flourish, but also gives your team members a sense of ownership that will inspire them to do their best work.

Manage The Project, Don’t Do The Work

Managing any project is a full-time job. Whilst your team may ask you for help, resist the temptation to get sucked in by work on the ground. It is exceedingly difficult to manage a project if you’re getting lost in the completion of lower level tasks and activities. If your organisation for example, is experiencing a manpower shortage and you’re swamped with work that impedes your current management capabilities, then it might be time to consider outsourcing, hiring, or contracting.

Select Your Team Members With Care

Many of us may not have a say in who is on our project team. If you do have a choice however, note that choosing the right persons for inclusion on your team and allocating tasks is easier said than done. This often requires intimate knowledge of the people you work with and the dynamics between then. For instance, assigning a challenging role to a team member who looks good on paper but is considering a career change or retirement can result in lackluster performance. Additionally, assigning tasks that are beyond the scope and capability of a team member can lead to frustration and poor results. Making two team members whose working styles are at odds with each other work closely together, can be a recipe for disaster. Select carefully.