Pertinent Project Management Dilemmas and Effective Solutions Including New Task Management Software
Effective Project Management is the backbone of any efficient and successful company. Often times, small- and medium-sized companies encounter problems unique to that of larger corporations. Frequently, small businesses have medium-sized client bases. With an out-of-balance employee to client ratio, all staff members must be firing on all cylinders at all times.
Small- and medium- sized businesses live and die by their clients and their deadlines. In some cases, one or two big clients keep the company safely above their bottom line. Not meeting deadlines on time could mean losing crucial clients, which means that organization and scheduling are critical. Every minute counts. Small- and medium-sized businesses often lack the processes found in larger corporations, however they do have the advantage of being able to create their own custom processes.
They have various options to facilitate efficient processes. New task management software like proTasker is taking this one-step further. Templates of each job model are created and saved for use in the future. No longer will you have to ask, “What comes next?” or “Who should perform this task?” Task management software like proTasker will not only suggest logical next steps, but also which employee is best suited to complete the task.
The trickledown effect of good processes is undeniable. Reducing errors in managing time and events will create a more streamlined approach. Effective process leads to less wasted time. Less wasted time leads to more time to contract other projects. More projects equal more money!
In addition to the 8 steps, the following whitepaper includes three sections with ways to improve your personal project management style, how to deal with clients and their needs, and boost overall efficiency in the process.
YOUR PERSONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT STYLE
As a Manager, or Project Manager (PM), you are the leader of a team, and have the responsibility to be as effective as possible for both your team members and your clients. Understanding your personality style, being aware of your strengths, and weaknesses, and actively working to improve yourself professionally will put you on the path to success. Looking introspectively on a consistent basis and taking stock of any areas that could use improvement is extremely valuable. When analyzing personality styles there are four main categories in which people can be divided: Relaters, Innovators, Analyzers, and Drivers.
Relaters are highly involved in their relationships with others. They have many positive character traits including the fact that they are often great listeners, caring, loyal, and valuable team players. They have the ability to bring people together and communicate effectively to a large group. They can distinguish between the needs and wants of individuals. They make others feel involved in projects they work on and foster consensus within a group.
Best Practices for Relaters
- Keep a detailed and organized calendar to help stay on top of your commitments and deliverables.
- When conflicts arise, be the one to remain neutral and avoid taking sides. Use your skills to restate problems as opportunities, and help others identify solutions rather than looking to assign blame or get out of the room.
- Volunteer to be the “scribe” for the project team. Use your talents to capture issues, deliverables, and action items in clear and concise ways, while recognizing accomplishments along the way for project completion.
Innovators are constantly moving and have a great sense of excitement in the workplace. They are creative, energetic, persuasive, and excellent brainstormers. Their greatest strengths lie in their ability to solve problems, come up with fresh ideas, and create strategic plans. They are fearless in situations they have never encountered before.
Best Practices for Innovators
- Use your personal power to be a “thought leader” rather than dominating the conversation. Help others see the “big picture” as you often see it first.
- Ask 3x more questions than other team members to draw out and gain buy-in for the best solution rather than telling others what the “right” answer is.
- Communicate the big picture through visual expressions and examples. It is often easier for others to understand something once they “see” it.
Analyzers in the workplace stay consistently organized and focused on the details. They are procedural, accurate, methodical, and fact-oriented. They have a keen understanding how the process works. They have strengths in the documenting, controlling, accounting, and systematizing components of a project.
Best Practices for Analyzers
- At the start of a project, define the critical success measures/key performance indicators AND the methodology for how metrics will be calculated.
- Help the project team identify product/process improvement opportunities based on real data and analytics vs. “guesswork” or “politics”.
- Make sure you do not check out when the “big picture” discussion takes place. You need to stand in the future sometimes to be able to see the present.
Drivers range from firm and direct, to assertive and dominant. They are determined, authoritative, influential, and commanding. They have a “go-getter” attitude and desire to be in charge. They are great leaders and are often results-focused.
Best Practices for Drivers
- Remember the “Golden Rule:” Lead others by example, not fear.
- Recognize and reward others often! The best recognitions are frequent, creative, and never embarrassing.
- When conflict or breakdowns occur, help the team resolve conflict in ways that do not end up with winners and losers. Be a unifying leader, not just in charge.
In order to be effective, a PM needs to be a mix of all four types. Each person will gravitate more to one personality type, but do not place too much pressure on yourself! Work on developing those skills that are not your strong suits. A great deal is expected of all project managers and they are often over-worked and underappreciated. Understanding your style and the style of your team members will help you to understand their process better and communicate more effectively.