I am a great fan of Viget’s blog and like the fact that their team members take the time to share thoughts with the community. One of the recent blog posts I read was about Project Manager Tips, and they were mentioning these:
1. Ask early & often, and definitely never assume
2. Encourage collaboration
3. Meetings are not necessary for everyone all the time
4. Find out the best way to communicate with each team member
5. Stay calm
What would I change on this list?
– make “Never assume” a stand-alone tip, because it is very important. When interacting with people in general, we assume that others feel or act the same way as we do. Translated into project management terms: we assume that “make the design clean, fresh and cool” means the same for all, or that everyone will read those long emails from the client and understand its subtleties, or even that it’s common sense to let people know when you’re running late with a delivery — and it is wrong.
– add “Be firm, but polite” near “stay calm”. This applies with both team members and clients.
– add point 6. Organize, organize, organize – because it is your job to make everyone involved do theirs better. And even if this means having 10 meetings/calls/back-and-forth emails with the client until you present your team clear instructions, or repeating yourself via email/phone/Skype even if you posted the tasks in your company tracker – this is what you have to do to make sure things are moving smoothly. Your team must have their tasks clear, know the priorities and find in you the answers they need to provide the best work possible.
For more project management tips you should definitely consult NASA’s 100 list. Even if it is not strictly related to web, it has some great insights. I love this one: “A comfortable project manager is one waiting for his next assignment or one on the verge of failure. Security is not normal to project management.”
Looking forward to hearing your PM tips!