How to add value as a project manager
Have you ever noticed how some project managers perform better than their counterparts? Even some of the most challenging projects seem to be a success for them, and they always end up with a satisfied client. But how do they accomplish this? Project management is a multifaceted and complex job, but one that pays off in the end. The goal is to plan, coordinate, and deliver complex projects to a high standard on time and within budget. A good project manager understands that to truly add value, they must be skilled in various areas, including problem-solving, team building, and being agile in uncertain situations, all while managing risks. Project managers add value in multiple ways, as discussed in this blog.
How Project Managers Add Value
1. They put the client first.
The most critical factor in determining a project’s success is whether it meets the client’s needs. The tricky part is that when clients express their needs, they may be saying what they want rather than what they require. Highly successful project managers discover the actual needs of the client for them. They do so by asking questions and learning about the client’s business. They aren’t just interested in meeting the requirements; they want to add real value.
2. They put together a fantastic team.
Highly successful project managers understand that the team is the project’s best asset. They want to understand each person’s strengths and motivators, so they nurture them. To motivate the team, they don’t tell them what to do; instead, they coach them to find the best solutions and make their own decisions. Instead of micromanaging, these project managers see themselves as enablers who remove roadblocks so that the team can get back to work.
3. They delegate authority.
Highly successful project managers have discovered that delegating anything that can be done by someone else is the best way to add total value and fully leverage the team. Delegating allows them to focus on the essential things, such as customer relations, communication, guiding and motivating the team, and setting the vision while also developing the team’s skills. No one will take care of these crucial tasks if they do not.
4. They are unafraid to question the status quo.
It is no longer sufficient to show up for work and complete a project as was once done. Successful project managers think about how they can deliver change more efficiently, cost-effectively, and timely. They question the status quo, determining what new technologies can be used, what additional benefits can be provided, and how processes can be improved. They push themselves and their team to think in new and unusual ways.
5. They have a long-term strategy.
Projects that add value in the short term and the long term are the most sustainable. Although it’s a good start, delivering a project on time, on budget, and in expected quality isn’t enough. The project must also be strategically viable, which means it must be long-term and have the desired impact on the organization’s strategic business goals. Project managers at the top of their game are aware of this and regularly operate at that level.
6. They increase the project’s buy-in.
Successful project managers cultivate strong, trusting relationships with the project’s stakeholders. As a result, they concentrate their efforts on the stakeholders with the most power and influence over the project, particularly those opposed to the initiative. By proactively listening to the concerns of stakeholders and acting on their feedback, the project’s buy-in and commitment are strengthened. These project managers are proactive and won’t hesitate to discuss a complex topic.
7. They oversee risks, issues, and scope changes.
Keeping risks, issues, and changes under control is a big part of delivering successfully. Successful project managers instil a risk-awareness culture in their teams by asking them what they’re worried about, what’s affecting their work, and what could go wrong. They also keep an eye on changes, not because they oppose them, but because they need to assess the impact on factors like time, cost, quality, and benefits if a requirement is altered.
8. They follow through on their promises.
Managers must be credible, and clients and stakeholders must have faith in them for delivery to be successful. When it comes to chasing other people for the actions they take on, highly successful project managers do what they say they will. They set a good example and earn respect for their efficiency, timeliness, and dependability. Making a promise you can’t keep is the quickest way to lose credibility.
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