Pump Up Your Project Management Skills with These Strategies

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This article by Jennifer Morris is a great reminder on some excellent project management communications basics.

Be sure to watch this pmStudent mini-lesson for Quick Communication Tips too!

There is always room for improvement in project management and new ways to get ahead in the game. Whether you are new to the world of project management or if you have been a project manager for years, you’re sure to learn something from these timeless tips, some of which were inspired by Brad Egeland of ProjectInsight.net. If you’ve been managing clients and projects for a long time, think of this as a refresher course. If you’re new to the world of management, read on and pick up a few “new to you” ideas.

Communication is Key

keytocommunicate If you want to be successful in your position as a project manager, you need to be a clear and confident communicator and always stay in contact with your team. Remember, you are the point of communication between the client and the company you work for, so you are your company’s representative, the person who the client will contact with questions or concerns. If you are not easy to communicate with or lack clarity and have issues with organizing your thoughts, this is something that you need to focus on improving. If you have issues with communication,?Egeland suggests to use reminders on your project resource management calendar to follow up with project sponsors or clients. Touching base with your team is equally important so that you have information on every stage of your client’s project and can relay the progress during client and company meetings.

Schedule Meetings and Stick to Your Agenda

Before you meet with your client and your team, chart a game plan that is loose enough to accommodate?sudden changes, but structured enough make sure that everyone is on the same page. A good way to do this is to use a web-based project management program that you can alter to fit the needs of your project. Use Microsoft Outlook’s calendar application to schedule weekly or biweekly meetings with your creative team and your client. Make sure that you have an agenda that suits the planning phase for each meeting so that you don’t jump ahead of a phase for your project’s development.

Launch an Internal Kickoff Meeting

kickoffMeetingHaving a meeting that will bring all of the elements of the project together. This can be taken care of easily if you know the right questions to ask your client and you have a clear vision of who the client is and what their needs are. An internal meeting is also a great way to brainstorm possible ideas, concepts and budget your time with your team. A kickoff meeting doesn’t need to be a long drawn out talking session. You don’t have to address every issue that could come up right there. Keep this meeting brief and to the point. Your client might have all of the time in the world to talk about how great they are, but time is money and you and your team have to get to work.

Whether your company has an endless supply of money to work with or if you’re working on a shoestring budget, these simple practices are essential to the success of any project manager.

Jennifer Morris is an ardent follower of cloud solution trends and database security improvement. She shares tips and advice with her readers on several business-related sites.