Project Management Habits for Successful Project Managers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 18, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project managers perform various essential duties, such as tracking budgets, monitoring timeframes, and helping ensure projects meet the clients' requirements. Usually, successful project managers adopt various habits to perform these duties effectively. Understanding the work habits of successful project managers can help you adopt them and increase your chances of success in this field. In this article, we discuss some project management habits for successful project managers and review some tips to help ensure you succeed in this role.

Project management habits for successful project managers

Here are some project management habits you can adopt to help you build a successful career:

Be proactive

It's essential for you to be a proactive project manager to help ensure you succeed. Stakeholders and team members require project managers willing to make the most appropriate decision when executing projects. A proactive manager can help ensure that the project remains focused by creating a plan that assesses all scenarios and keeps the team protected from various challenges. They also create guidelines for when and how team members can perform their tasks.

Related: How to Become a Project Manager (With Salary Expectations)

Determine your priorities

It's essential to prioritize your tasks and focus on the most impactful goals when executing projects. Consider writing a business case for yourself to help you identify the most important goals. In addition, after identifying your priorities, it's advisable to act immediately to help ensure you get the best results.

Be conscious of the results

A successful project manager outlines the project's expected results before beginning. Outlining the project results helps ensure you remain focused and adhere to the project guidelines . This can help you find new and creative ways and strategies to reach these goals.

Manage your time effectively

Successful project managers typically create daily schedules that help them prioritize their tasks and adjust their daily activities to fit the schedule. Effective time management can also help you become more productive by applying yourself appropriately in various situations. For instance, you can allocate periods for each task on your schedule to help ensure you don't spend too much time on one task, to the detriment of others. Effective time management includes delegating tasks to others to handle more urgent issues yourself.

Be a team player

It may be difficult to handle a project by yourself, making it essential to assemble an efficient team and work with them effectively to fulfil the project objectives. It's advisable for you to take an optimistic approach when managing your team members. Consider explaining what you expect from each team member and teaching those who don't understand their duties. Performing these tasks effectively can help you build and develop a successful team.

Take responsibility

Successful project managers accept responsibility for their mistakes rather than deny them. Taking responsibility for your errors allows you to learn from these mistakes and use these experiences to perform your activities better in the future. In addition, it sets a good example for other team members and creates an environment that fosters growth and development.

Establish a stable work-life balance

Maintaining a stable work-life balance is essential to help ensure you feel satisfied and fulfilled with your professional life. For example, if you don't get enough rest or eat properly, it may be difficult to remain productive at work, impacting your overall success. Similarly, maintaining a work-life balance can affect your personal life and help you retain the good health necessary for your workplace productivity.

Understand various processes

Effectively executing a project involves adopting various processes from inception to completion. For example, it's essential to know how to plan, execute, and produce core deliverables. Understanding other workflows that contribute to the project's success is vital. This includes making edits, providing feedback, assigning roles and responsibilities to team members, and delegating other duties. This can help you keep your processes flexible and alter them when you face challenges. For instance, if a project has excessive touchpoints, the project manager may remove various feedback points to allow team members to perform their duties without interruption.

Generally, successful project managers understand the most appropriate method and process to adopt when executing a project. They can also establish detailed procedures based on previous experiences and optimize their processes to help ensure they apply to the current circumstances. This makes it vital that you have a thorough understanding of these various systems involved during project planning and execution.

Related: What Does a Project Manager Do? (With Duties and Skills)

Manage client expectations

Managing a successful project entails managing the expectations of all the parties involved and understanding the capabilities of your team. It's important to know when to reject stakeholders' expectations that exceed your team's capacity. Sometimes, rejecting these expectations can help the client form more realistic ones. This allows you to prioritize the team's well-being while helping to ensure you can achieve the project goals.

Make data-driven decisions

Managing a project requires you to make critical decisions that affect the project's outcome. Successful project managers aim to maximize the number of good decisions and support them with relevant data to help ensure that stakeholders understand the reasons for the decisions. In addition, these professionals apply their analytical skills to monitor the delivery times, determine the project's duration, and improve existing processes.

Develop excellent communication skills

It's necessary for project managers to establish clear communication channels that ease project development. As a project manager, it's your responsibility to encourage team members and stakeholders to share ideas. This involves creating an environment where all stakeholders are comfortable sourcing information, asking questions, and providing clear and accurate information to relevant parties. Developing excellent communication skills also helps you connect effectively with team members and convince them to adopt a common strategy. It also helps you provide explicit instructions to help ensure each party understands their responsibilities and the expected actions toward achieving a common goal.

Related: Project Communication Management (Definition and Steps)

Tips to help you succeed as a project manager

Here are some tips to help you succeed as a project manager:

Promote collaboration

Effective collaboration is an essential part of achieving the desired project outcomes. You can consider improving your collaborative procedures to help ensure you meet the project objectives, such as avoiding overspending, launching the product within the time frame, and attaining high KPIs from finished projects. It may also be beneficial to hold regular team meetings to get progress updates and understand how you can help team members perform their duties.

Categorize your objectives

You can separate your primary objectives into milestones, assign a team member to specific tasks, and create a project life cycle with precise dates to make your plans actionable. Creating milestones and regularly reviewing them can help you make your goals more attainable. In addition, you can analyze each milestone after achieving them to learn if you can make improvements to future landmarks.

Contain potential risks

Risk management helps you mitigate the effects of potential setbacks that may occur during a project. Each project has various risk factors that may be necessary for you to consider before beginning the project. For example, suppose you want to move data and apps to the cloud, it's necessary to consider the security risks involved. Consider asking your team members to help you identify all potential obstacles to your project.

Improve concentration

It's advisable to keep the team focused on one project before starting a new one, as this may improve concentration. Consider encouraging team members to dedicate periods to work without interruptions. For example, you can place a temporary ban on using communication channels during non-interrupted periods to allow them to focus on their tasks.

Use project management software

Technology, especially project management platforms and software, is beneficial for project managers. These platforms can serve as a central area for all project data, which can help you translate data into Gantt charts, dashboards, and deadlines. In addition, project management software provides a platform for team members to mark tasks as complete and make comments that can help move the project forward.

Read more: Top 9 Workflow Management Software (With Benefits)

Automate some processes

Automation can help you focus on key deliverables by eliminating mundane tasks. Consider the existing if-this-then-that rules in your project when automating your project management operations. These rules may provide a starting point for automating some project processes. In addition, automation can help you reduce costs and improve time management for the company.

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