Project management relies on a team to help initiate, execute and control a set of circumstances to reach an end goal. Working in a project management team can mean that no one individual is solely responsible for a specific task. But how exactly can you ensure your project management skills stand out?
- Get your priorities straight
- Work on your ability to influence through strong inter- and intra-personal relationships. This means honing your EQ
- Strengthen your servant leadership skills. Maybe the best way for you to shine might be by letting your team shine?
- Maintain the team’s focus and stick to key deadlines
- Make learning an integral part of the process and a business imperative
Remember, recognition for your individual efforts should never be the goal. Ultimately, being the Most Valuable Player in project management means doing your best to help the whole team achieve its goals by delivering on its promises on time. Here’s how to do so:
How to improve your project management skills
1. Prioritise tasks with a project schedule
Many project management teams rely on the agile project management methodology, which is defined by behaviours of trust, flexibility, collaboration and empowerment, says the Association for Project Management (APM).
While this type of project management breaks a project into smaller pieces then prioritises each goal in terms of importance, you can take it one step further by regularly re-evaluating the project’s priorities to help your team find and tackle any challenges that could hinder on-time delivery. Becoming the MVP means always looking ahead to identify prospective risks and scenario plan ways to mitigate these.
2. Make use of project management software
As technology becomes ever more immersive in Industry 4.0, many project management skills have become digitised. Which doesn’t mean that intrinsic human skills need to be overlooked. Wrike, an online project management software company, recommends that you be accessible and keep communication lines open, especially when working remotely.
Using project management software will also enable you to keep detailed project notes that can be shared with your team in real-time and help you build rapport with your teammates and clients through social features such as chat or video conferencing.
3. Use effective communication skills to manage people
You’re already a pro at managing strategies, plans and other documentation but do you give enough consideration to your people management practices? Eschew the know-it-all stance and take the time to understand what your colleagues are capable of and delegate tasks wisely.
Project Times suggests that you be prepared for organisational problems and handle challenges––from health issues and emergencies to misinterpretations of requirements––in a positive and flexible yet solutions-driven way. It’s very important to up your emotional intelligence – a large part of this stems from self-awareness. If you know how you react to others in various circumstances, you’ll be able to tailor these interactions to maximise positive outcomes.
4. Be proactive
Anyone can keep a track record of the work being done, use templates and ensure meetings stick to the agenda but it’s the doers who are the real MVPs of a team. “Value-driving employees aren’t only thinkers, they’re doers as well”, says Huffpost, which means that initiating an idea is great but taking action and seeing it through is what will really show off your project management skills.
5. Continuously develop your project management skill set
Contrary to what the media tells us, leaders and managers don’t hold all the answers. To make sure you rise to the top, you’ll need to go above and beyond your usual project management training and find ways to gain a better understanding of your subject matter or industry and innovative ways to apply the skills you already have.
The Daily Mind recommends embarking on extra studies, finding a mentor you can engage with and taking risks in your projects as great ways to enhance your project management skills and truly become the MVP. Continuous learning is critical. It’s also important to trust in the wisdom of your colleagues – the varying perspectives of a diverse team are crucial for high-value problem-solving.
In order to catapult your career growth with intelligent insights, and turn that into best-practice management techniques, try out our Project Management: Principles and Practices course. This short course will guide you to integrate different technical inputs and develop your project management skills so that you can make the jump from Project Management team member to MVP.