What should a project manager do 1

7 things successful project managers do every day

It really is not easy for a project manager ... as an intermediary between team and customer, as an intermediate position between management and technical experts. This makes it all the more important to be aware from time to time of the tasks involved in the role of project manager.

If these tasks are fulfilled on a daily basis, (almost) nothing can go wrong:

1. Check the project status

Imagine your role as a control center. Who, if not you, should know what your project is doing at all times? You don't have to know every tiny problem on the construction site or the smallest bug in the software project - but you should always be able to provide information about whether your project is on track.

Take a look at critical work packages, watch their progress. Check if there are blockers waiting for you somewhere that could throw your team off course.

If you know your project status, you will

  • respond more confidently to questions and
  • know better where your next construction sites are.

Helpful tip: Orient yourself to the 3 questions a project manager should always have an answer to

2. Check internal messages

Whether handwritten notes, internal messaging system, ticket system or morning team meeting: As a project manager, you play a central role in team communication.

"I don't have access to System XYZ!" "There is a delay in production that is messing up our test run."

It is your job to make sure that the project “runs”. As soon as you have an overview of current stumbling blocks, you can eliminate them.

3. Pay attention to customer needs

In many projects you take on the role of mediator between the team and the client or customer. Agreements need to be made, drafts discussed and requirements put to the test.

The probability is high that wishes and questions will be brought to you on a daily basis. The satisfaction of the stakeholders is at least as important in a project as the hard criteria. It is all the more important to have a sensitive ear to the customer.

For further reading: Is your project just finished, or is it also successful?

4. Prioritize

If you have followed the previous steps, a surprisingly high mountain of new tasks could be waiting for you:

  • Your client urgently wants to talk about the last design draft.
  • There is a conflict between Mr. Kampe and Ms. Bister from Controlling.
  • A problem has arisen in the “Construction” sub-project that urgently calls for a solution.

It is natural to break into a sweat in situations like this. When everything seems urgent and important, it causes stress and is almost a guarantee for losing sight of the “big picture”.

Being able to prioritize tasks is one of the most important skills of a project manager. Check out the following articles for tips:

Eisenhower matrix
3 signs that priorities are wrong - and what you can do about it
Need help with prioritizing and making decisions? This method helps!
No more getting bogged down: With this method you can correctly prioritize tasks

5. Prepare for and conduct meetings

They are inevitable ... and extremely important! Maybe you like exchanges in meetings, maybe you see them as a waste of time. Rules of thumb for meetings:

  1. Only attend meetings that are actually beneficial for you.
  2. If you are a participant: Prepare for the meeting and think about what you want to take away from it in advance, instead of just being passively present.
  3. Design your own meetings in such a way that all participants perceive them as added value.

You can find more tips for meetings here:

How to declare war on inefficient and boring meetings
How to Run Better Meetings in 10 Easy Steps

6. Motivate and praise

It cannot be mentioned often enough: According to the saying “Project management is people management”, it is essential to regularly listen to moods in the project team, to seek exchange, to give feedback and to motivate.

Get inspiration here:

How to motivate your team: With three factors to success
7 simple points to motivate your employees
The six rules of thumb: 3. Be nice to your team

7. Looking ahead

As stressful as everyday project work may be, take your time every day to look at the big picture:

  • What could be waiting for us tomorrow / next week / next month?
  • Which risks could I deal with now?
  • In which places are opportunities waiting to be seized?

As a project manager, you often act as a problem solver, dealing with typical malfunctions and solving problems. But at the same time, you don't just want to react - that causes stress and puts you in a passive mode.

Instead, act proactively: look ahead and address potential problems early on. Not only does it feel good (“I have the situation under control!”), It also makes a confident impression on others.

Conclusion

Quite a lot to do ... and yet only a part of the daily "project madness". Always remember the picture of the control center, see yourself as the helmsman. The role of the project manager entails having to constantly react to external influences and disturbances - and at the same time keep the rudder actively and firmly in hand.