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How to Motivate Your Team

Becoming a project manager is a big step from simply working on projects. A PM usually has to juggle many different tasks, deadlines and resources – human resources being just one of these. Rather than simply doing a job to reach a goal, you need to delegate these jobs and motivate others to complete them.

Whilst training in Project Management will teach you processes, and the technical side of things, it’s always important to be aware of the above – that your new status will mean more people management. Taking the time for some specific management training will help you get more out of your team – and ensure the success of your project.  To get you started, here are our tips for motivating your team.

Communicate

Communication is critical in management – not only with the stakeholders above you, but with your team. To motivate them and ensure their hard work, you need to think about their preferred methods of communication and adapt your own behaviour accordingly. Although they are unlikely to ever realise what you’ve done in this respect, they will be motivated by it!

Be a Good Example

If you set the tone as a good communicator, hard worker, expert in your field and of being fair and just then your employees will respect you. If they lose this respect through any of these channels then they may not feel the drive to work as hard – either consciously or unconsciously.

Delegate

For those new to project management – or those who have perhaps lost sight of the importance of people management – it may be hard to delegate effectively and relinquish control. People work hard when they are given responsibility that they want to fulfil – so let them have it. It’s not only your job to motivate your team, but it’s not your job to do everything yourself.

Give Them Room to Grow

This may not be possible within smaller projects, but it is in larger ones and when you work with the same team regularly. Make sure you identify those who could be given more responsibility and/or promotions – establishing a culture of progression and growth is key to keeping people motivated.

Incentives

Fundamental to project management is breaking your main goals into smaller objectives. Make sure your staff are praised and rewarded (the praise can often be enough reward!) at each step of the way. Don’t allow them to doubt their performance if their performance is good.

Pick the Right Team

This should almost go without saying, but it’s the most crucial part of the process. Once you are in the position of choosing the right team for the project, you put responsibility for their performance back on yourself. It’s important, therefore, to think carefully about who is most suitable for the specific project at hand.

You will need to put some thought into who you’ve chosen, how they like to communicate, and what motivates them. You can then choose which of the tips above, and to what extent, will work to motivate different people.

Guest Post was written by: Andy Trainer,  whom works for Silicon Beach Training, leading providers of training in Management, Project Management and more.

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4 Tips for Effective Project Managers

A project manager will learn in PMP certification that being effective is an important characteristic to success. When you are effective, you’re helping to make a productive work environment, a successful outcome and a happy client. The four tips below will get you started on being the most effective project manager on the block.

Create a Strong Foundation

Understanding what a successful outcome will look like, before ever beginning a project, is the best first step to success. Once you have the vision, all parties associated with the project, including the client should be made aware of that outcome. Also, avoid failure by knowing your own limitations. You shouldn’t commit to a project that you know you’re unable to oversee. A client deserves to have a project start on the right track, so your honesty is key.

Make Detailed Plans

The best way to avoid problems down the road is by writing out your plan as specific as possible from the onset. Rather than breaking the project into several large tasks, take it a step further by turning those larger tasks into several smaller ones. Not only will it make a project more manageable, but it also makes it more precise, saving you time later on. As always, don’t forget to factor in time for reassessing tasks and fixing mistakes.

Create Accurate Estimates

A client will expect to see estimates for the work you and your employees are doing. The estimates in their simplest form should be based on how long the task will take. Understanding your employees’ capabilities to accomplish tasks should not be overlooked and should keep your estimates realistic. Consider the use of commercial tools in helping document your estimates. As much as your client will want to see the estimates, they’ll equally want to see how you arrived at them.

Keep Track of How the Project Progresses

By recording how much time tasks actually take to complete, future estimates will be more accurate. You’ll also get a better indication of the level at which your employees are working. Honesty is the best policy for the project. Fix problems if the project is behind and never lie to clients about the status of a project. Rather than moving forward, make sure all tasks are completely finished to a client’s standards.

University Alliance provided this article for publication and submitted it on behalf of Villanova University. Villanova offers online PMP training courses that help professionals earn their PMP certification. For more information please visit http://www.villanovau.com.

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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Guest Posts, Project Manager Tips

 
 
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