Project teams usually consist of employees from different departments of a company. In addition to their work in the project team, those team members often have different supervisors in their departments, they are involved in different workflows outside of the project and they have different approaches to get their work done. That can lead to problems in the project group quite quickly. As a project manager, you are responsible for the results of the project, but you lack the authority to give directives. The following principles help you to manage projects successfully.
4 Golden Rules of Project WorkJasper Braun, Friday 22 June 2012 | Reading time: unknown
Project work is teamwork
Project work is not only about the persons involved, but rather about the cooperation in the team. This is the attitude that you should convey to your team members. Build up confidence within the team and maintain an open and honest communication. Problems and friction must be discussed, and should not be swept under the rug.
Distribution of tasks
As a team leader, you are the coordinator of the experts involved in the project. Let the team members participate in the planning at an early stage of the project and make clear that the members must take responsibility right from the start. Do not barge, however, in the specialist tasks of your team, because intervention can have a demotivating effect on the team.
As the team leader, you should always know what’s going on in your project. Set regular meetings to discuss the current status and to give team members the chance to discuss problems. For larger groups, it is convenient to use project management software to keep track of the project and to have real-time information. To minimize the risk of failure, you can consult an independent advisor who constantly controls the project and who can make proposals.
A lot of projects suffer from hubris and bad planning. Be careful to be realistic and compare your project with other similar projects. Do not overestimate yourself at the beginning of the project, in the initial euphoria and optimism, set specific goals and guidelines instead. Projects can also fail due to unmotivated employees. Give your team members recognition as often as possible, not only for the results of their work, but also for the effort behind it. A general praise to the whole team at the end of the project is not enough.