5 Tips to Being a Better Project Manager
At DK New Media, it’s my job to keep everybody in line and make sure we’re getting our tasks done. Sometimes, it can be tough when we all have different responsibilities and roles. However, I have fine tuned my own process to make sure that we are all on the same page, as well as devised some tips to being a better project manager.
Tips to Being a Better Project Manager
1. Make a list everyday.
I know, I sound like the neurotic organizer. But seriously – I wake up every morning and make a list of things I have to do for each client. For me, I enjoy actually writing it down so that I can physically check it off when I’m finished. However, there is a great app called Wunderlist that you can use to create different lists that can be shared with other members of your team.
Some tips for making lists:
- Have a small list for every client or project.
- Write down the name of each person who is responsible for each task.
- Keep the list from the previous day so that you can compare and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
2. Organize your email inbox effectively.
It doesn’t matter how you organize your email inbox, but make sure you create folders that are conducive to your work style. I personally have a folder for each client, but I’ve seen others organize theirs other ways.
3. Understand each team member’s role and responsibilities.
I recently met with a friend who had trouble being a project manager since she didn’t understand the service that the company was offering. What was even more frustrating is that her boss told her that she didn’t need to understand it, she just needed to delegate tasks. This is absolutely absurd – even though I don’t know how to develop a website or fully customize CSS, I have made it a point to ask questions and get the general gist of what my team is doing so that I can effectively communicate these tasks. For example, Doug is responsible for SEO for our clients, and I don’t always know the odds and ends of what he does. But I ask questions to better understand what he needs to do so that I at least know what to tell him when a client approaches me with a problem. Even if it isn’t your responsibility, it is still your job to make sure that your team is executing the tasks that need to get done.
4. Be a client advocate.
As a project manager, it is not only my job to delegate tasks, but it is my job to look out for the client. You have to answer to them, so you want to make them happy. Always follow up after a call or meeting with a detailed list of things discussed, and always keep a client posted, regardless of whether or not you’re going to meet a deadline. It’s important to be transparent. Furthermore, promote their marketing materials! Make it a true partnership.
5. Create content calendars.
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my clients and for my team is create a content calendar that lists the tasks and due dates. I also include tasks that the client is responsible for. This way, you are all accountable for the tasks and you have a physical representation that details your tasks. And if you’re finding that you can’t meet a certain deadline due to bottlenecks, this makes it easier to alert the client and explain the situation.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – if you’re a project manager, you need to stay on top of responsibilities in order to maintain the partnership and respect of a client! Always work on being a better project manager.
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