6 Ways to be a Successful Project Manager
I LOVE project management. It is seriously one of my favorite components of business because there is a common goal, an end date and a lot of moving parts. It makes the organized and logistical side of me incredibly happy when I get to see these projects come together.
A wedding is a big project to me, we all have the end goal of happy, appreciative clients, an awesome team of great vendors to work with and a solid wedding date to make the magic happen!
Some people love project management and some people hate it. Here's a few ways to make it your bitch:
Set up yourself for success. When you're courting a potential client, it's valuable to ask key questions and take notes regarding the project. These notes will help you document realistic expectations of your costs, create a timeline with buffer time built in, and determine how much or how little involved the client will be in your process. These will help you back into a realistic fee if the client decides to engage since you'll know what's expected, the (estimated) amount of time the project will take, and how much profit you'll make before you event start the project.
Set your client up for success. When you and your client have decided to work together, but before you sign the contract, the full project details need to be outlined in writing, including contingency clauses. Document both of your expectations, and the client fee schedule. Have the client submit contact information of the point person on their end as well, and a backup person in case they're unavailable. As the project manager, be prepared to submit a timeline to the client with their deliverables. The information needed from the client should be well noted, and include a lead time with a due date. *Remember, requesting information ASAP is not reasonable for anyone. Try to avoid it, or only use it sparingly.*
Foster a stellar team environment. The project manager thrives on directing a team. Teams requires smart people, clear directions from the project manager, and detailed deliverables with solid due date. Your timeline and schedule should include soft dates (due dates for team members to submit work to you), and the project manager should create a separate schedule of hard dates.
Do the work. Don't just say it, be willing to do it. If you can't do the work, find someone you can do the work and who will be an asset to your team.
Prepare for the uncontrollable. It will happen, something will go wrong, and your timetables will shift. Always prep your client for the possibility. Also, get your project back on track as quickly as possible, and keep your chin up. Own up to the oversight, and provide new deliverable dates (if changed) to the client and keep marching on.
Deliver a kick ass project. Once your project is completed, deliver the end result to your client and revel in your awesomeness. Have a mini dance party - your choice.
Now, go forth and kick your next project in the booty!
Brooke Olsen Consulting is a pricing and business strategist team. We specialize in pricing + profitability, financial education and business strategy for creative business owners and entrepreneurs just like you! We're focused on creating an intentional business and life by breaking down the black box of your financials and system processes. Check out our core values for more of the heart behind our corner!