The best way to manage a project is to participate in it. Participate in the discovery process and share your insights with the team. Let them know what you would do differently next time. Sharing information and ideas makes everyone feel included and accountable for their roles. It also helps the team feel more like a group than an assembly of individuals working on their own. Unfortunately, not everyone is as quick as lightning to dive into a project management role or embrace the ownership that comes with it. So here are some tips for staying engaged with your team and ownership of your projects: Work with your team to set goals, tasks, deliverables, and milestones. Don’t micromanage them – get out of their way! Just because you’re helping doesn’t mean you should be in charge of everything. Have team meetings frequently so the team can discuss their tasks, goals, resources, and milestones together at once before moving forward on any one item at a time. Try not to take too much control over every detail yourself (or else don’t try being so awesome that other people want to work with you!). Instead, trust others on the team to make good decisions for the team as a whole based on their individual experiences and knowledge of the problem or task at hand. Explore different ways of performing tasks Provide support for your team by learning about different tasks from different perspectives or skill levels Share best practices that have worked well for you or avoided pitfalls you
Take frequent process surveys
As a team, let’s get honest. Do we all know how to conduct a survey properly? Do we know how to process a survey or survey data and report back with accurate and useful data? People often think project management is about keeping score, but many other aspects to it are just as important. It’s important for everyone on the team to feel comfortable and confident in their ability to participate in the process. And for those needing support, having a quick way to get help when they need it is an invaluable tool. The best way to stay engaged with your team and ownership of your projects is to make frequent process surveys a part of each day. Ask your team what tasks they’re responsible for, what other team members do, what their experience level is, and what their best experience in that role was. Then, make sure each person on that team knows how to take a survey and get accurate data back to the team.
Help out with quality assurance
Do you remember when we talked about the importance of learning from others’ experiences? You can do that and more by helping out with quality assurance. In a project management role, you’ll often need to help out with the testing and quality assurance process. A good way to get involved with quality assurance is to suggest topics to start working on. Then, help out with the planning and execution of the actual tests. Ask your team what they think they need to work on, and then suggest improvements. You’ll be surprised how often you come up with additional tasks to complete.
Try and participate in the decision-making process
Some people just don’t want to participate in the decision-making process. Sometimes you have good reasons for taking a particular course of action, and other times you want to take a risk and see what happens. Deciding how to participate in the decision-making process is a key factor for effective project management. There are many situations where being more hands-off is the better option. But there are also times when being in charge is the better option. If you’re in a leadership role, you can pretty much always participate in the decision-making process. If not, you can still take a hands-off approach by delegating decision-making to your team members. Bottom line, you can’t Participation means you always have to be there – you can’t push it to the side and wait for the depression to set in.
Offer your honest opinions and learn from others’ experiences
As the manager of a project, you’re going to make mistakes. And you’re going to make others on the team and your team members feel bad if you make a mistake, too. That’s okay! Your job as a project manager is to learn from your mistakes. When things go wrong on a project, try to look at everything from the team’s (and your own) point of view. What would they do differently? What could they do better? Take that information, along with your experience, and try to come up with a solution.
Project management is a very creative field that requires flexible people with a lot of experience. Your job as a project manager is to be engaging, collaborate, and provide support for your team. To do this, you need to be willing to accept that sometimes you’ll be in the wrong. And that when you’re in the right, you’re going to do amazing!