Calling All Project Managers: 10 Tips for Success

As a project manager you are the main point of contact between your client and your team (aka a central and integral piece of the pie). Here are 10 tips that we use on a daily basis at SunBeam Marketing Solutions for stronger project management and, in turn, a stronger business:

1.     Communicate frequently. Frequent communication is a must. Identify your client’s preferred method of communication (phone, email, text, pigeon) and how he or she is most responsive. A successful Project Manager (PM) can be heard through the noise by communicating effectively and consistently.

2.     Define the scope. As sales hands off to fulfillment, a client needs to have a clear understanding of what the project will entail. A strong onboarding process and clear communication will help you deliver to the clients’ expectations throughout the project.

3.     Create a timeline. A timeline is a critical tool for a PM. At SunBeam we use one for just about everything. It is a PM’s job to keep the project on track. For some projects, a timeline can be a beast, but it gives both your client and your team expectations for deadlines and project completion. It is vital to keep your timeline updated and communicate (yes, that word again) any changes to the client.

4.     Give status updates. It is very important to us to keep our stakeholders in the loop. Sending a weekly status report of what you have accomplished during the week lets your client know how your projects are progressing.

5.     Listen. Just do it! Great PMs are known for their attention to detail, and they hone that skill by listening and being intuitive. Experience will soon turn that skill into wisdom and save money, time and resources over the years. We find that listening gives our project managers the ability to foresee a client’s needs and wants in advance. 

6.     Be a team player. A PM is often the team member holding everything together, but don’t forget that everyone plays crucial roles in a project’s success. Evaluate your team and optimize your team members’ skills to delegate, resolve conflicts or problem solve at a high level.

7.     Use a project management tool. Today’s workplace is changing. Project management platforms like Basecamp make running projects easier and brain trust isn’t lost every time someone leaves the company.

8.     Build relationships. As stated above, you are the main point of contact, so it is imperative to build and maintain a relationship with the client. The goal of the SunBeam PM is to be as much a part of the client’s team as the SunBeam team to ensure all needs and expectations are being met. It’s a partnership, and, remember, a happy client equals a successful project.

9.     Be proactive. We always encourage our PMs to be proactive and look for data, gaps, opportunities, etc., in a project or with a client. Doing so will help your team capture a holistic view of the client, which makes any products or services that much better.

10.Be positive. A PM with a good attitude makes everything run just a little bit smoother. Someone who can adapt, be flexible when needed, communicate clearly and be consistent will make a great Project Manager.

Next time you work with PMs, take a moment to notice all the small details they carry and catch. Take time to appreciate them a little more, too. We know we sure do!