How to Manage Hard Projects (Without Irritating Your Team)

Written by LetsBuild

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Yup, another one. And you know it is going to be a long ride. What can you do differently now? The last one was a really draining experience. Maybe few of the people in your team still hold grudges about that time when you pushed them too hard. You are a good project manager if you know how to lead and guide your team. That is why I want to help today. I want to take you through a few of the main steps you should prepare for in advance. But before we do that, let’s go through little PM pep talk. You should really see yourself as a leader. A captain of the ship, if you will. You are not only the chief of communication and responsible facilitator but a person that holds the united vision….motivator and organiser of your team. If you are trying to micromanage, stop. If you trying to boss around to get things done, stop. Be the balance enabler of your team and they will be on your side. Showing ownership of every task that needs to be done. Ready? Let’s go.

Step 1: Pick a single goal. Engage everyone around it.

The biggest challenge with organising a team of people towards the wanted results is the fact that they are all different. Every one of them has a different philosophy, motivation and perception of the project workflow and outcome. Your number one job is to engage them around ONE goal. When I say to engage them, I mean leading their qualities and similarities towards one metric that they have to achieve. There should be criteria and guidelines, but the final destination should be ONE. This is powerful because when disputes arise, the main question will be are we trying to reach X with this argument or we are just trying to be right.

Step 2: Find the “M factor”. Use it.

There are countless studies that show different statistics about how motivated or engaged are people at work. Sure. In the initial (planning) phase, everyone will be “into it”. But after that the enthusiasm can decrease and it will be just a regular day at the office… where we all trying to pass the ball. If you want to avoid this, you should find the motivation for every single person. Then you group them and then you create your own processes for using that to make them champions. Please use this with ethics.

Step 3: Set up an organisation system.

Keep your project and people organised. If anything slows down a project is the miscommunication and the change management. In your project workflow, everyone should be on the same page. If changes start to happen, and they are not managed well, a chaos will arise…and the team will start pointing at you. The best way to be “on top of your game” (especially when it comes to management of changes) is to use an online project management software. This is how you can safely rely on automatically updated project plan when changes are made. The software you are going to choose has to be able to prioritise tasks and be a collaborative tool where everyone can “meet” online, communicate and share files and other digital information.

Step 4: Discover and celebrate individual talent.

So you are the main project manager. Good for you. Now go and see what the other members of your team can be valued for. Focus on them. Don’t micromanage. Sure, you are the PM. But, your people are good at something too. Enable them to do the job. Let them shine. Appreciate the difference. Maybe Katy’s approach is different. That doesn’t mean that she can’t do it. That means she needs space to do her thing. Back off. Don’t disappear. Just know your focus and hold it. Delegate set the rules and then step aside. Trust and you will be trusted.

What is your approach when it comes to managing hard projects? You might want to review the basic construction project management checklist and indulge the 10 key responsibilities of a construction project manager. For an extensive overview of increasing productivity in the construction site, an ebook is free for you to download.