How well acquainted are you with project management?
Do you know what makes project management what it is, as well as what sets it apart from other roles and responsibilities?
In this post, I offer a few myths about project management, as well as some tips on how to effectively manage a project.
MYTH: Delegating work is a project manager’s only responsibility.
FACT: Project managers have a lot of responsibilities, and delegating work is only one piece of the puzzle.
Project managers keep busy assembling project plans and deadlines, reviewing incomplete or missed work, reworking old or existing plans, communicating with different departments on a regular basis, analyzing reports, and managing budgets, among other things.
Delegating work properly actually takes a lot of careful thought. Things don’t just end after work is delegated: a project manager may need to inspect work as it is being produced, or follow-up on work delivery times and due dates.
Want to try your hand at delegating work? Take a look at this post, Productivity Tip: How to Delegate Work Properly.
MYTH: The only tools project managers use are charts.
FACT: While charts play an important role in project management, that’s not the only tool in the project manager’s toolbox. A project manager’s mind is probably their most important tool. With experience and practice, a project manager can calculate facts and figures in a flash, quickly estimate work times, build strong relationships with customers, clients, and their colleagues, and have an uncanny sense as to whether or not a project is on, or desperately behind schedule.
Looking to beef up your productivity skills? Check out 3 Productivity Assumptions You Shouldn’t Make When Working with Others for some interesting ways on how you can work well with others.
MYTH: Project management is easy.
FACT: Project management takes a lot of work. While the job may look “easy” to the untrained eye, it is an active, not a passive position. There’s lots of things to plan, project, check up on, review, push forward, revisit, and correct. You can think of project management as trying to juggle many different sized balls at once, and keep them all in the air at the same time. If a project manager does a poor job at managing a project, all of those balls will come falling to the ground. They are true experts at managing their time, and others’ time.
Make the most of your schedule by learning How to Manage Your Time Without Getting Stressed Out.
MYTH: Project managers are only focused in the present
FACT: Project managers don’t just make sure work is completed in a timely manner. They have a keen eye on the future, too. A simple analogy to describe this would be if you were driving your car on a highway. When you drive, you not only have to keep an out for the cars immediately in front of, besides, and behind you, but you also have to keep an out for things way in the distance, in case you have to switch lanes, break, or come to a complete halt. Project managers are keeping tabs on the present, but they are also putting a great deal of their attention to the near future.
Are you looking at time accurately when you work? Check out these 7 Time Management Lies You Tell Yourself.
MYTH: Project managers aren’t problem solvers.
FACT: To the contrary, project management requires a fine collection of problem solving skills. Project managers must be able to work with whatever information, people, and materials they have at their disposal at any given moment, and ensure a project continues as planned. Managers must be resourceful, and stay calm under pressure when dealing with work delays, frustrated clients, or damaged products.
Learn how to problem solve like a pro. Take a look at this post: How to Know When You’re Not Working Productively.
How about you? Are there any project management myths you’d like to add to this list? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!