Good PM Habits

Introduction.

Experienced Project Managers know that being able to construct a Gantt Chart or follow PRINCE2 procedures doesn’t automatically make them a good Project Manager. Being a good PM is all about understanding what has to be achieved and then developing the good PM habits necessary to make sure that the desired outcome is obtained. That’s not just about being able to tell other folk what to do – but keeping an eye on the details and being able to communicate effectively to make sure everyone understands what they have to do.

Have an eye for detail.

As the PM you need to have an overview of all the activities involved in the project. However, you also need to pay close attention to the details of what’s involved in the work. This will inevitably mean that you’re looking at areas of work that are beyond your personal knowledge/experience. You must feel at ease with doing this as otherwise there is a risk that you will miss the beginning of problems – which can be rectified relatively easily if caught early enough. Also, failure to pay attention to detail could mean that you accept a report that a particular phase of the job is completed when, in actual fact, it is incomplete or there are errors in it. In which case you will end up wasting time reconvening the working group to rectify the matter. So, your attention to detail will save you time and the project money in the long run.

Know your audience.

Keeping good PM habits helps you keep a happy and hard working staff.

Possibly the best PM habit to get into is knowing how to address the audience you’re speaking to. Whilst you should always be forthright but polite in the way you speak – the terminology you use when addressing the boardroom may well need to be different to that you use in office meetings or when talking to those working ‘on the shop-floor’ so to speak. You will only get the best out of all those discussions if you know how to make sure that whoever you are speaking to feels that you are addressing them personally and in a way that they feel comfortable with. This is true whether you are praising someone for work they have done or trying to find out why something is behind schedule and what needs to be done to put it right.

   

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