Successful projects are powerful instruments for achieving flexible and effective results. They are extremely good for teaching team members and are excellent springboards to more responsibility.
As the project leader, you take on a central role within the project and you are responsible for a series of important tasks, not all of which are very easy. What diverse competencies do you require to be able to do that?
As project leader, you are in charge of the day-to-day management of a project team. You manage one-off projects with a tangible end result within a clearly defined time frame. You manage the project as a manager, which means that the following competencies will certainly support you:
As project manager, you set concrete objectives and schedules and you ensure that agreements are kept. You distribute the assignments and oversee the execution. It is therefore essential that you maintain an overview and keep a close eye on your own schedule and the schedules of others in a very organised way.
The project leader represents the project, both internally and externally. You must therefore present ideas and the results of discussions and work to both your team members and the client. And you also have to persuade others. Projects succeed or fail on the basis of the communication about them. Formal and informal. Written reports confirm the agreements that you can depend on later; so do open conversations by the coffee machine. They both offer valuable insights into the progress of the project. You must also communicate regularly with your team. The ultimate result of the project will be implemented at company level and requires the goodwill of the entire organisation.
As the project leader, you delegate tasks to the team members. Spend some time thinking about the arguments that you can use to persuade your colleagues to carry out the less pleasant tasks, as well. Emphasise the importance of the project as a whole and also the importance of the individual steps that lead to the objective. A project needs someone to assume responsibility and who is able to delegate as well as always knowing where the project is going.
Although the skills sets for a project leader are important, they are less important than the communicative and social competencies; other people are necessary for the implementation of the partial steps planned. It is your task to keep everything under control and to bundle the expertise of the experts.
It often happens that projects are set up to implement something totally new, something for which the experience required is not yet present in the company. It only makes sense, therefore, that things don't always go according to plan and that working conditions regularly change. You should take this into account to be able to respond quickly. Flexibility and being able to cope with stress are called for. Dealing with failures and giving the team members the enthusiasm they need to go further with renewed energy are part of every project.
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