If you’ve ever been a project manager in charge of ensuring that moving pieces of a project come together, then you know what a headache it can be.
As a PM, overall success is your responsibility. You are in charge of making sure every task and the deadline is hit, and that team members stay accountable.
With so much responsibility come inevitable pain points that all project managers must face.
1. Staying Organized
Many times, this is one of the most time-consuming parts of the job. This is further complicated when outsourcing jobs or working with remote teams or freelancers from all over the world.
You will have to account for time differences and be responsible for making sure people in every time zone are doing their job efficiently and on time.
It’s imperative that you come up with an organization system that works for you, so you can be successful.
2. Keeping Teams Accountable
Acting as “accountability police” is never fun, but as a project manager, this is your job. You will make sure that every person on your team is completing any task they have been delegated and in a timely fashion.
If this isn’t happening, then it’s on you to have those difficult conversations with team members to ensure that work gets done, so deadlines aren’t missed. This requires juggling several different balls all at once.
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3. Consolidating Tasks with Project Management Software
Your to-do list as a project manager is endless -- you are responsible for delegating tasks, making sure deadlines are met, keeping stakeholders in the loop on status, etc.
Since teams are often dispersed globally, this makes your job even harder.
To help combat this, you must consolidate your project into manageable tasks using collaboration tools or project management platforms like Asana, Monday, Trello, Basecamp, or something similar.
It’s important that you centralize all the tasks in one place, so every team member can easily access it and use it. Plus, this will cut down on unnecessary email chains, phone calls, and chats.
Having all the project tasks and deadlines in one place will help simplify your life and ultimately lead to a successful project.
4. Maintaining a Healthy Transparency within Teams
Remember, you are responsible for all the teams on a project. Sometimes a team maybe just one person, but it’s important that you generate healthy transparency within all the teams, even if they are just a few people.
Oftentimes, team members will depend on other colleagues to help them meet their deadlines, so they need to know what’s going on with the project. If they are kept in the dark or don’t know the status of a specific deliverable, this will lead to confusion, annoyance, and possibly the deadline not being met.
To keep this from happening, have regular meetings and check-ins with the various teams and encourage the teams to do the same with themselves.
It’s crucial for you to make team members feel included and like they are a part of something larger. The project will only be a success if every person on that team can work together and do their part to make it happen.
5. Keeping an Open Line of Communication for Feedback
Giving feedback is one of your key responsibilities. Many times this is not the most fun part of the job, but it needs to get done.
It’s easy to provide feedback if a team member is doing great based on their performance, but if someone is slacking or isn’t completing their tasks on time, you will need to confront that person and let them know they need to “step it up.”
This can be awkward for many project managers, but the overall state of a project’s success depends on every team member doing their part. If you see that someone isn’t working at their fullest potential, it’s your responsibility to say something to prevent larger issues from happening with the project.
Plus, helpful feedback can lead to continued improvements and an even more successful project. And isn’t a successful project the goal of every good project manager?