Throughout your educational career, you’ll acquire valuable skills, each one capable of elevating your personal and professional growth. One of the most important “secret” skills might be project management. Not only will it benefit your performance, but as you advance in your career you will be positioned to lead others. Proper project management is crucial when it comes to navigating multiple team lead responsibilities.
You can become your team’s most valuable player by using these proven tips and tricks the next time you’re asked to step up as a leader.
Imagine trying to take a trip. How hard would it be to reach your destination without having a path in mind? It’s the same with achieving any project — you get farther and find more success when you establish clear goals and objectives from the start. Ensure that the team understands the end goal and the path they’ll need to take to get there. This is also helpful for creating an effective strategy and maintaining motivation from start to finish.
In fast-paced environments, it’s crucial to be able to keep track of multiple things at once. Without a process for organizing project tasks, deadlines, and resources, ensuring that all objectives are met on time and within budget can be challenging. Staying organized helps project managers to prioritize their tasks, communicate effectively with team members and monitor progress.
Every project, big or small, benefits from a leader who sees the whole project scope, but it also needs someone who stays informed of the day-to-day happenings. Take time to ensure that you have a thorough enough understanding of the tasks at hand. This ensures everyone remains on task and, if team members need to move into other roles or help out last-minute, that the learning curve is reduced to facilitate as few scheduling changes as possible.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter how much you plan and prepare, there is always the chance of something going awry — and you can feel assured that at least a few things along the way won’t go the way you thought they would. Being able to respond to unpredictable situations with a level head is essential for projects to remain on course and for maintaining strong productivity and confidence from everyone on the team.
Effective project management is a result of a well-rounded combination of hard and soft skills, including but not limited to these six secret ingredients for success:
Working effectively with your team starts by understanding their needs and expectations and ensuring they feel heard. Collaboration also fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among team members, making them more committed to the project's success.
Effective communication is critical for project management. Project managers must communicate clearly and concisely with team members, stakeholders and clients to ensure everyone is on the same page. They must also be able to listen actively and provide feedback.
Project managers must be strong leaders. They must inspire and motivate team members to work towards project goals. This includes setting clear expectations, providing guidance and recognizing team members' contributions and how every individual fits into the bigger picture of the team.
Having the right attitude can make a world of difference in your experience managing a project, especially if the project is long, complicated or faces stumbling blocks along the way. An effective leader exudes an energy that motivates them, remaining upbeat even in stressful situations.
Being a strong problem solver means you’re able to identify the root cause of any challenges and find viable solutions to overcome them. You will be tasked with analyzing the situation and assessing the available options, ultimately being trusted to make the most informed decision possible.
Project managers can optimize the use of time and resources by prioritizing tasks and focusing on critical project elements, improving project efficiency and effectiveness. Effective time management also helps to reduce stress and increase productivity by breaking down complex projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Individually, these skills will serve you well in any role. But when utilized collectively, they give you the power to flourish as a leader — and someone others can look to for advice and inspiration.
A project management skillset is coveted by employers in many industries, including technology, healthcare, construction, finance, manufacturing, engineering, logistics, and much more. If you know how to get things done on time and within budget, while navigating the needs of multiple team members, your services will always be in high demand.
If you’re ready to exercise your project management skills and position yourself for long-term professional success, explore Herzing University’s Bachelor of Science in Project Management program and get started today.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.