If you’ve ever worked in the agency world, you know that sometimes it feels like the project managers are the glue holding everything (and everyone) together. It’s not easy being a project manager either —keeping track of multiple tasks and clients, meetings all day, building presentations— they’re always doing something. Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran in the game, here are a few key tips to keep in mind when it comes to your project management style.
Adapt or Perish
Early on in project management careers, it’s easy to feel like you need to be more regimented and stick to the book. Once you’ve figured out what does and doesn’t work for your project management style and your team, don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. Routines, processes, and technologies are constantly changing. You have to be ready and willing to take whatever’s coming at you and move with it.
Organization is Key
This one goes without saying for everyone who’s been in the industry for a while. Project managers are the people responsible for keeping the group organized. If they’re not organized, neither is their team. This could lead to missed deadlines, low team morale, and potentially an angry client.
At Tallwave, our project managers use a variety of organization tactics to keep everything together. Some like to keep it simple and use our calendars to set reminders and block out time for tasks that need to get done. We have some people who abide by their Basecamp assignments to keep everything organized for themselves and their team. Others prefer the tried and true pen and paper method. As you can see, everyone has their own way of doing things. Play around with a few organization tactics to see what works best for both you and your team. Once you’ve settled on the right one, it’ll be smooth sailing from there.
Time is valuable in this line of work – you don’t get a lot of it, so don’t squander it. Be proactive and get a head start on a project or plan that you know will be coming up soon. This way you’ll be working ahead and avoiding that game of catch-up we all know too well.
It's All About the Details
Typically, project managers are the last eyes when it comes to reviewing any work that is being sent back to the client. Project managers should have a thorough understanding of the deliverables the clients should be receiving. In most cases, they should be the last reference point to cross-check everything before sending it to the client. We like to use Grammarly to run our content through for any missed grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. We also know this technology isn’t perfect yet, so we like to also get a pair of human eyes on the content before we send anything over to the client.
The Power of Autonomy
Given the pace at which most project managers work, autonomy is an important quality to have. In this role, you have to understand what needs to be done in order to run things as smoothly as possible. Being autonomous doesn’t mean you need to have all the answers either. There’s no shame in being resourceful and knowing who you can talk to in order to get your work done.
No matter what industry you project manage within, these five key skills should be kept top of mind to keep everything running smoothly. Need help managing your project? Drop us a line. We know some people.
Written by Patricia Guevara–Manager, Project Management