Career Advice Industry Insights

What Does Effective Project Management Look Like?

By: Mariah Rogers
Nov 4, 2020 • 6 min read

Project Management 101

Welcome to the world of project management! This area of work is a fun, collaborative, strategic, and sometimes stressful job. Many different factors contribute to successful project management. As a project manager, you’ll need to use effective management techniques to allow your team to work like a well-oiled machine. You will need fantastic time management skills to meet deadlines and complete the project sections by the due dates. Project management is a very transferable skill that can be used to succeed in various industries. So, here is how to be a stellar project manager and learn to get the job done.

project management

Types of Project Management 

As we mentioned above, project management is a transferable skill that can be implemented in various industries. No matter where your interests lie, these skills will apply to your work if you are a manager. At its core, project management is the collaboration of individuals trying to achieve one common goal. However, deadlines, restrictions, and guidelines must be abided by to be successful for a project. Especially if the team is working on a very personal project for a client.

Some examples of industries and events that utilize project management are:

  • Wedding planning
  • Trip planning (travel)
  • Event planning
  • Construction / renovation
  • Meeting organization
  • Implementing organizational change

The levels of project management will vary in the examples above. As you can imagine, planning a wedding is a very personal project where the manager and team will have to follow the guidelines and directions offered by the groom, bride, and the family. Factors that will be considered are budget, themes, colors, event location, event size, food, venue, and much more. Talk about a big project!

Mastering The Art of Negotiation

As a project manager, you will have to master the art of negotiation. As the project’s head organizer, you mustn’t take on more than you and your team can handle. You must negotiate time, budget, and deadlines with your client to produce a successful project. You might also have to negotiate with your team! To meet deadlines, you might have to convince your employees to work overtime, change locations, or make other special accommodations as a member of the project team. As a project manager, you will likely also be working with many “middlemen” or third party companies. Back to our wedding example, if you are planning the event, you will also have to work with bakers, florists, designers, caterers, and more. You might have to negotiate with these separate partners. This is a key skill every project manager must possess.

project management

Example of negotiation situations a wedding planner might face:

  • The baker only wants to make a 2 layer cake. Your client is hoping for a 3 layer. It is your job to negotiate with the baker to make a 3 layer cake by offering higher compensation, extended time to work, or freedom to choose flavors and decoration.
  • The florist does not have a certain color and type of flower that your client insists on. You will have to negotiate with the florists to place a special order for the flowers needed for the event. Perhaps you can raise compensation, settle for fewer total flowers, or pay for the florist’s transportation to and from the event.
  • The wedding is on a tight budget, but it is a destination event. This means the wedding guests will have to travel to the venue. It is your job to find the cheapest flights, most affordable transportation to and from the airport, and hotels within budget for the bride and groom.
  • The venue only allows 60 wedding guests, but your client has 80 guests on the invite list. It is your job to organize outside seating and expand the venue to meet fire regulations and still be able to hold the event at the desired venue/location.

People Skills

As a project manager, you will be leading a team of people who hold various skills and expertise. So, you must have excellent interpersonal skills. You need to be able to listen to your teammates and gain mutual respect so that your subordinates can follow them effectively when you give directions. Your people skills will also help you communicate with clients and “middlemen,” as discussed above.

How to improve your people skills:

  • Listen to clients/teammates fully without interrupting.
  • Make your clients feel heard and respected.
  • Respond to virtual communication in a timely fashion. This means answering emails, texts, and calls promptly. You will show that you have the client’s best interest at heart and that you are on their team!
  • Consider every opinion and make sure each voice is heard. This includes in team meeting settings or customer consultations.

project management

Time Management Techniques 

Time management is another key skill that you will need to master to be a successful project manager. Not only will you be responsible for completing your own tasks on-time, but you will need to check-in and manage your team and any third-party partners, too. This is necessary to meet deadlines, stay within budget, and ultimately make your client happy with the final product. If you fail to manage your time effectively, the project can fall behind, and you might not be able to have access to all of the necessary tools to finish the project.

Tips to strengthen your time management skills: 

  • Have a shared company calendar.
  • Connect with your clients daily.
  • Invest in a personal planner that is physical, so you can write everything down.
  • Set alarms and reminders hourly.

More to Explore:

Supporting Females in the Workplace – Here

Asking For a Pay Raise During COVID – Here 

How to Make The Most of Your College Career Center – Here 

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