By Jim Wong, CPA | October 25, 2017


No matter your profession, there comes a time in most professionals’ lives where you have to lead or manage a project at one time or another. Whether it’s a month-end close, a budget forecast or a systems conversion, the person charged with managing the project usually has to exhibit some leadership characteristics in order for the project to be successful.

Managing a project certainly takes the technical competency to achieve the necessities of the project.

However, what keeps a project on track to be completed successfully, usually has a lot to do with the person’s non-technical skills, as well. These softer skills help to keep the processes functioning smoothly and your team cooperating in a number of capacities.

So, what is the best way to manage a project? I recently read an article on cio.com that talks about leveraging a person’s non-technical skillsets to best manage a project. I wanted to share some of these tips along with a few of my own. Take a look at the 5 Best Practices When Managing a Project below.

1. Demonstrate leadership. 
No matter how big or small the project, take ownership and show that you can be a leader. Be ready to promptly analyze data and make confident decisions. Not only are you responsible for overseeing and coordinating each step, but one of the best ways to manage a project is to clearly pave the road ahead by outlining the vision for the project. This is a good indicator of strong leadership.

2. Motivate those around you.
For larger scale projects, understanding that the happiness and determination of a team can directly impact the quality of project is crucial. That’s why it’s important to keep your team motivated to finish the work, especially during stressful days. Be sure to give praise to those helping on the project when it’s due. This will likely encourage continued success.

3. Communicate effectively. 
A healthy flow of communication is key best managing any project, but what exactly deems communication as healthy or consistent? The article by cio.com defines great communication as, “getting the right information to the right person through the right channel exactly when it is needed,” and I couldn’t agree more. A strong project manager also understands what not to say in a given situation, which is imperative to maintaining a positive relationship with a team.

4. Be ready to problem solve.
There’s no surprise that problems are bound to arise during a project. In order to solve these problems, you must understand how to identify them first. Once a problem is identified it’s best to manage the risks as best you can and as quickly as possible in order to rectify the situation. Combatting unexpected obstacles and proactively responding is essential to seeing a project succeed.

5. Be an adaptor of change.
The best approach to take when issues arise during a project is being able to adapt on your feet and be open to change. In a fast-paced business environment, the best way to manage a project is to change course as needed – even if it seems like a difficult decision. Many managers have a hard time practicing this because they aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar pivots. However, making those hard decisions is what is likely to show you success in the end.

These are only a tips for best managing a project. Do you have other ideas to share? Comment below and let us know!


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