Four Habits of Highly-Effective Project Managers
Any successful team requires a blend of varying skills, work styles, and workplace personalities. If everyone on your team had an analytical, linear approach, you might over-calculate results, and ignore the value of disruptive, fresh ideas. Dually, if everyone on your team maintained a big picture gaze and only focused on far-off future company goals, your team’s productivity would struggle within the confines of daily deadlines.
The role of a good project manager is to be able to identify each ingredient, or team member, for what they have to offer, and organize the many ways these ingredients can be blended together to produce a delicious brew of collaborative, top-quality results. If you’re in a project management position, here a few hacks you can use to hone your managerial skills so your team can consistently brew success.
Monitor The Time-Work Output
The average time wasted is 2.09 hours per day. - Time Doctor
Some colleagues don’t need any motivation to consistently provide their contribution to a team project, while others struggle to stay focused on their tasks. Throw in remote work and it can be difficult for many to stay on-course and in-step with the other members of a team. This can be especially true if some team members are in a different time zone and are online when the majority of their colleagues aren’t present.
Time management programs, like Time Doctor, can help your team track their hourly work output as well as help monitor their progress to note if they are spending their time wisely or chatting all day with friends on social media instead.
Time Doctor Widget:
With Time Doctor, a dashboard widget stays visible at the bottom of the screen to display the time that has been spent on a project. When team members click off their work window to surf the web, Time Doctor will pop up a notification on their screen asking them if they’ve finished the task at hand.
For those that get distracted easily, this platform can help your team note how they’ve spent their time, requiring them to click on the break button to pause the clock, and then resume the clock when they are ready to come back to the project.
Understand Work Styles
Taking the time to understand the work method of each team member can help you inspire them to increase their output of quality work, as well as open the paths of conversation about their weaknesses. By understanding a team member’s work style, you can learn how to cater to their strengths.
Start by investing time to listen to your team members’ goals and understanding their personal preferences. Next, monitor their workflow. Ask yourself questions like: are they quick to notice messages in Slack or email, or they are slower on getting up-to-date? Do they provide work earlier, or deliver it just before the deadline? Are they comfortable voicing their professional opinion, or do they refrain from consistently providing input? Asking yourself these questions and taking note of their workplace traits will help you to understand their individual work style.
Now, when mapping out the objectives and scope of a project, you can incorporate each individual’s different work style. These questions will help your decision-making in how to incorporate team member effectively.
If your team works remotely and is spread out across the country, or countries, you may have one or a few team members living with-in a close distance. As a project manager, it’s wise to take advantage of this, and meet up at least on a bi-weekly basis to discuss project updates in-person over a coffee or at a coworking space. This helps maintain a team mentality that will aid your group’s overall productivity and collaborative efforts. For those that can’t meet in person, Skype them during the meeting or relay the points covered later in a group message, so that everyone feels included.
Monitor Scope Creep
Scope creep refers to a lack of control of the growth or changes made to a project. Each slight alteration to a project may not seem to make a dramatic impact, but over time these alterations can add up to steering the project away from it’s original objective. This can also result in confusing the proper size and scale of a project, requiring more detail and work hours than originally necessarily.
Scope creep first occurs when objectives are not properly identified. This can be solved by outlining why your team is completing a project (for what purpose will it serve) and how your team should go about approaching the project. Without micromanaging your team, you should also suggest how much detail your project will need, how much research will be necessary, as well as roughly how much time the project should require.
Reversely, scope creep isn’t always negative to a team. When the scope of a project is outlined at the start, any occurrence of scope creep later on can open up a dialogue within your team about better ways to collaborate.
Every project begins and ends with the people involved and a good project manager must understand the human aspect of their team. And when you can truthfully note each person’s strengths and weaknesses, you can push your entire team to success.