Four things new project managers should know

Monday, May 5th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

Whether you are considering switching to a career in project management or have already begun earning professional development units towards your professional (PMP) certification, it is important to consider what kind of manager you hope to be. Project managers have the power to influence both project success and the job satisfaction of their employees. Effective project management is the result of hard work, proper training and the drive to constantly improve. To avoid common "rookie mistakes," follow the advice below:

  • Talk like a project manager. There is an extensive vocabulary specific to project management. Knowing the correct terminology is critical to career success and effective communication. While terms like Gantt charts, work breakdown structures and risk sensitivity analysis might sound intimidating, their proper understanding and use will make it easier to explain the core concepts and strategies to team members.
  • Learn to manage stress. If you are the type that panics easily, it is time to learn how to control your emotions. Inevitably, problems will arise over the course of a project, and the best managers will handle them calmly and professionally. Project team members will look to you to see how to react, and your actions will set the tone. In other words, if you start to panic, expect your team to lose it too.
  • Manage risk. Part of a project manager's role is to be aware of potential roadblocks and time wasters. Never ignore a potential risk! Together with your team, regularly review your risk plan and take corrective action when risks turn into unpleasant (but not unanticipated) realities.
  • Share a common goal. Perhaps most important of all, make sure everyone involved with this project not only knows what they're doing, but also why. Having a shared view on what will make the project a success serves to unite the team and reduce miscommunication. 

New Leaf offers over 200 hours of PM training, including "Managing Risk and Making Decisions," to help you generate and execute a risk-response plan. In addition, our white papers and QPM, an online game, let you learn while you earn PDUs towards your PMP recertification

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