With so many things to take care of, project management can be quite taxing on both your physical and mental health. As a project manager, you have to take care of your clients, team members and upper management while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.
Habits have a profound impact on your personality and performance hence it is critical for project managers to display habits that would separate them from the crowd and give them the necessary boost to achieve success. In his famous book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey discusses how good habits can make a huge difference and lead you to success. In this article, we will highlight some habits of successful project managers so that you can also adopt them and get a step closer to glory.
Habits of Successful Project Managers
1- They Are Proactive
In today’s dynamic project management environment, project managers must follow a proactive approach instead of a reactive one to succeed. If you are waiting for things to happen, you will be left far behind in the race and will not be able to cope up with emerging challenges. Preparing for the future increases your chances of delivering better results.
Benjamin Franklin sums this up brilliantly with his quote,
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Successful project managers always stay ahead of the curve and leads from the front. Never hide behind the desk and have a laid-back approach towards project management because it would have a negative impact on your team and your project.
2- They Are Goal Oriented
Whenever a successful project manager kicks off a project, they set their sights on the goal that keeps distractions at bay. Simply put, they are goal-oriented and so should you, especially if you want your projects to succeed. Larger projects are usually broken into smaller bits to make them more manageable. But in the process, you can easily lose sight of the common objective your team has to achieve because your focus is now on smaller objectives while the ultimate objective of the project takes a back seat. To ensure successful completion of projects, it is important that all your team members are moving in the same direction to achieve the common goal.
3- They Prioritize Tasks
Apart from taking right decision at the right time, project managers should also know how to prioritize tasks. With so much on their plates, it is important that project managers put first things first and then take it from there. Instead of trying to solve multiple problems at once and multitask, it would be much better to focus on one problem at a time based on importance and urgency.
Thanks to project management and task management tools, you can easily streamline your tasks and prioritize them to achieve better results. When you complete the important activities and tasks first, the chances of project failure decreases substantially.
4- They Focus on Solutions, Not Problems
Instead of discussing problems and indulging in blame game, successful project managers divert all their energies towards finding solutions to problems. In fact, this quality helps them to succeed at all levels. Wasting time on whining about the problems and pointing fingers at others to pass on the blame will only aggravate the situation take you one-step closer to project failure.
5- They Are Continuous Learners
Another quality of successful project managers that makes a huge difference is their learning attitude. They are lifelong learners and consider failure as a learning opportunity. Henry Ford advises project managers to stay in learning mode all the time,
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Albert Einstein once said,
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
Most of the successful project managers always follow these words of wisdom from the greats. It enables them to take every challenge, every obstacle as a chance to learn new ways of improving and getting things done.
6- They Know Man Management
What separates mediocre project managers from exceptional ones is that by nature they’re adept at connecting with people and that makes them very skilled atman management compared to others. They understand the how critical teamwork is for smooth and fruitful management of projects. They know the fact that no one can do everything on his own and cannot win alone; collective team effort is vital to win at project management.
Successful project managers know how to get the best out of every team member. They know the strengths and weaknesses of team members and assign the right task to the right team member. As a result, team members deliver their best and contribute towards success of the project in a far better way.
7- They Never Take Risks Lightly
Before writing his famous book “Project Management For You”, author Cesar Abeid interviewed many project managers and asked them this question, “Which aspect of project management is most important in their opinion?” The reply was shocking as most of the project managers listed risk management as the most important factor.
Poor risk management is one of the main reason behind project failure. A successful project manager always keeps an eye on risks all the time. He/she tries to identify risks, develop a proper strategy to cope with it and eliminate risks in advance. This reduces the chances of project failure, as these risks are a major threat that could hinder project successful completion.
8- They Look For Win-Win Situations
As mentioned above, a good project manager always find the best solution not for himself but for all stakeholders. A successful project manager takes all the stakeholders along, keep them engaged throughout the project’s journey, and by keeping them involved in critical decisions keep them craft win-win solutions that meet major stakeholders’ expectations.
The key to success for project managers is that they have to find solutions for all stakeholders without drastically altering the project structure. Although, it is quite tough to keep all stakeholders happy but if most of the stakeholders are satisfied, it is dubbed as a great achievement for project managers.
If you want to be successful at project management, you should exhibit or develop habits mentioned above to drive your projects to fruition. Show your leadership skills by leading from the front and be proactive. Connect with your team to know strengths of your team members and delegate roles accordingly. Try to find solutions that make all stakeholders happy and never take your eyes off the risks.
Critical habits differentiate a highly successful project manager from an average project manager. Save your project from failure by following in the footsteps of most successful project managers.