In recent years, use of the term ‘Project Management’ has increased manifold. Project Management is most commonly understood as being a tool that is utilized to define, plan, and execute a series of steps & processes to create something that can be of some help in the future. However, the utility of project management as a technique for personal development is often ignored.
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As with our professional life, there are occasions in personal life that warrant deployment of project management skills in order to successfully complete tasks. Getting yourself acquainted with few project management skills will help you overcome obstacles that may have seemed insurmountable.
This article runs through the most-important project management skills & offers tips on effectively applying them at work as well as in personal life.
Project managers need to communicate on a daily basis, whether in meetings, calls, or emails. It is believed that successful project execution depends heavily upon the project manager’s communication skills. If you don’t know how interact with your team effectively, you will be unable to monitor the progress of a project. Effective communication with clients to better understand their needs is important, as projects would otherwise never take off the ground! Maintaining open, regular, and accurate channels of communication with everyone in your team is essential for proper flow of instructions from the customer to the execution staff. This will also help in making changes to the plan, if any warnings or risks are encountered.
In your personal life, communication is the basis of any successful relationship. An inability to express yourself properly will lead to serious problems on the domestic front. Listening is also an important part of communication. Though technology has opened up new options of communication, it is always better to have face-to-face conversations with people around you.
Time management is on everyone’s to-do list at the start of a project. Every task in a project is time-bound and if not kept under check, tasks can exceed their allotted time frame, & bloat budgets. Time management is, therefore, at the very top of the list of project management skills. Avoid having too many meetings (that are sometimes unnecessary), many casual office conversations, micro-management, conflicting priorities, & work overload. Eliminating these, as well as delegating responsibilities effectively, overcoming procrastination, making quick decisions, having effective meetings, will make help you manage your office time better.
In your personal life, you will face situations when you are left with no time to complete key tasks. Thus, time management is important in your life as well. Creating to-do lists, focusing on one task at a time, maintaining work discipline, avoiding rushing with work –these simple rules will help you manage your time better.
Human psychology is such that if there are too many tasks at hand, the brain generally tends to lose its way in accomplishing these tasks. That’s precisely why project managers need to organize their work better; else they will have a situation in hand!
Even on the personal front, it is very difficult to complete tasks if you are not organized. In order to organize work, your thoughts need to be organized. You need to have a routine set in your mind and follow it accordingly.
The best way to do so is by listing down all the big, important tasks. Then break these tasks down into smaller chunks and try to successfully complete each of these tasks, one after the other. This way, you will have a clear idea of the tasks in hand, and can easily delegate tasks to others at work. In personal life, you can begin with one task at a time, and keep a checklist to track the completed ones.
Project managers come across problems with each project, on a daily basis. It is observed that by building problem-solving practices into the projects that you manage, you ensure your team promptly deals with the problems. Being a go-to person for identifying problems and solving them is a plus for project managers.
At your workplace, you need to perform a root-cause analysis of the problem. This will not only expose the current problem but also highlight other issues linked to it. Once the root cause is understood, the next step is to evaluate all possible alternatives and then arrive at a solution. Once you find the solution, evaluate if the problem occurred due to the process that is in place or due to error on the part of a team member. Find relevant solutions in both the cases.
In your personal life as well, you will encounter problems that have a knock-on effect. You need to find quick, practical, and creative solutions for the problems that you have encountered. There is no right or wrong way of solving a problem. It is just a matter of making things right. Problem solving skills will help you develop composure, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Being a team player is important, irrespective of the role that you are in. And being a project manager, having good team dynamics will help you in the long run. Tasks cannot be kept pending for a long time, and working as a team will help you achieve those targets smoothly. Also, while delegating work to team members, bonding among team members helps a lot. Work doesn’t suffer while working as a team. Team members will have limited workload as the work is shared among everyone.
In your personal life, when organizing events like weddings, parties, and even get-togethers, working as a team always gets the job done quickly, & also helps in building long-lasting relationships.
One of the key factors to achieve success in a project is getting the budgeting right, and, in turn, achieving client satisfaction. As a project manager, you must closely monitor daily budgets, timelines, and resources to ensure the project budget doesn’t blow up.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a tracker that will keep you updated with the project status at any given time. If you are new to the role of project manager, you will have to carefully allocate budgets to all the sub-tasks in the project.
Good budgeting skills will help you keep track of personal expenses and income. You will be in a better position to utilize your resources and may even end up saving some money for a rainy day.
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