The Project Management Skills That Will Separate You From Your Competition
While Taylor Swift is singing about how fun and free it is to be 22, the rest of us are working our butts off in the hopes of one day leading the business world.
Some say we have to enjoy life (read: party and booze) while we’re still young, but I say, why not be that while working towards your dream? To achieve that, we have to start with basic, good project management skills. And you don’t need a seminar for that because you’ve been practicing them all along. Observe:
You may not realize it, but you’re multi-tasking almost every minute of every day. With all the distractions we have today, we’ve all become experts at keeping several conversations at a time. Heck, we’ve even been trained to portray different emotions per social media account we own. All you have to do is to translate that when speaking to different groups of people. For instance, speaking to your team members and your clients involves two different approaches. Choose which is appropriate for which group and you’ll do just fine.
Don’t fret; you’ve been practicing this ever since your first potty training. In order to organize things, your thoughts must first be organized. I assume your morning routine looks something like this:
1. Eat breakfast.
2. Take a bath.
3. Brush teeth.
4. Dress up for work.
However, these steps are usually broken down into simpler and smaller tasks. For instance, taking a bath involves scrubbing your body with soap and your hair with shampoo. Thus, it takes at least those two steps to complete the “take a bath” item. Likewise, as a project manager, you organize by listing all the big tasks and breaking them down into smaller ones and accomplishing them one by one. Now you have a clear list of tasks you can start delegating to your team members.
Remember all those brilliant excuses you made when you missed an exam or went home past your curfew? Now’s the time to bring that skill back - and I’m not referring to making “excuses.” You’ve probably come up with so many possible excuses depending on how your teacher or parent will react and probably have more backup excuses, just in case. The ability to foresee the results/consequences of your decisions is crucial in business. Always have plans laid out from A-Z, prepared for whatever may come, so you won’t panic.
This is actually something we’re born with. We’ve been communicating ever since we were in our mother’s womb telling her to eat because we’re hungry. In the same way, if you want something, you communicate it. If you want to direct your company towards a certain path, you communicate and share your vision with the rest of the team. You have to involve them so they can better understand and do their part.
All those relationships you succeeded and failed at can now come in handy. Whether you realize it or not, you use a formula when relating to people. This is the same type you use when you build networks in order to gather assets and strengthen your business. Not to mention, this has been magnified tremendously, now that the world has gotten a little smaller due to globalization and of course, the Internet. Use your resources to your advantage.
We’re faced with various choices and decision-making every day. Whether we’re looking for the right outfit or searching for a good company to apply to, these are real decisions that will impact us in one way or another. And once we’ve made a decision, we better stick to it. Being decisive marks a good project manager. You can’t afford any second-guessing. Look at all the “what ifs” and see which options your business can’t resist foregoing and go with that.
We all have taken risks in our lifetime. You’ve probably reinvented yourself at least once, and even if you hated that new haircut you got, at least you weren’t afraid to put yourself “out there” and try something new and different. This speaks volumes of what you’re willing to do in order to become better. Likewise, don’t be afraid to take risks if that’s what your business is asking. But be cautious not to be too risky, otherwise, you’re just being reckless.
Now that you’ve realized life’s been preparing you for success all along, it doesn’t seem too hard or intimidating, does it? The world has been conspiring for our betterment ever since we came into being and this is the time we put ourselves to the test. We can now jam with Taylor Swift, feeling all 22, while doing some kick-ass work. Hoozah!
Top Photo Courtesy: USA Networks