This section calls for a definite plan of action. You will now be required to formally initiate the practical application of your pre-planned project. You will need to supervise your team activities in line with the pre-identified deliverables set out in the project plan. Given below is a sample agenda that can be used to initiate the meeting process:
After the meeting has ended, you would be required to write a kick-off meeting report and forward it to all major stakeholders. This should be done as soon as possible i.e., within a day or maximum of 2 days after the meeting.
Pro-tip: Make a habit of always sending meeting reports and minutes after every meeting. These should then be compiled along with other project documents and kept at a place accessible to all stakeholders of the project.
Leading and Management #
Project managers often tend to have broader roles and no clear-cut authority. The role of a project manager is thus considered to be an ambiguous one where he manages people who are both junior and senior to him in terms of their project experience. Thus, as a project manager, you would need the wisdom to manage teams of individuals of different levels of seniority, different departments, different skillset and different cultures.
You will need theoretical knowledge regarding management and leadership styles and would have to choose the style appropriately in line with the scenario in hand. The detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of our project management guide; however, three major types of leadership styles are listed below:
- Task-oriented leadership: It is focused on the achievement of project deliverables through proper organization of resources and people
- Participative leadership: the leader urges participation of the project team in the decision-making process. Such a style helps to inculcate a sense of self and coordination but may not be suitable when quick and swift action is needed.
- Directive leadership: the team is made to act as per the direction of the head staff. This style discourages individual opinion and participation but is effective in times of crisis.
Note: The project leader must know when which style or a mix of styles should be adopted. Moreover, the chosen style should be customized as per the requirements of your current situation, organization, project team, area and project outcome.
Ensuring Optimal Working of your Team #
In order for a project team to work optimally, the project manager needs to put in smart efforts to keep all things on track. The following factors need to be considered for a project team to work efficiently:
- Clear identification of roles and responsibilities of every individual
- Listen first and then communicate. Managers should first be good listeners or else the team may not give heed to their communications
- Never refrain from acknowledging and complimenting. The project manager should make it a habit to always acknowledge a team member’s achievements to their functional manager.
- Be passionate in your work. Positivity and passion are a contagious force that passes from one individual in a team to others
- Always act upon what you have promised. It develops a sense of trust and makes the team dependable on the manager
- Preach and reiterate that team members should always think as a team not as individuals
- Observe if your team is not working together. Make serious efforts to resolve any conflicts and provide training on teamwork
- Give responsibilities and limited decision-making power to your team members. This will empower them and help them get their work done more efficiently. Yet, it is also important that apart from their own judgment, they also make serious efforts to adhere to the guidelines provided by you.
Effective Communication #
Communication is the key to the success of any project. As a project manager, you are imparted with the responsibility of keeping the team together and updated through effective communication. You will be required to use various platforms such as phone, email, meeting, etc. to achieve your objective.
Firstly, you should focus on being a good listener and then strive towards communicating effectively. The team members tend to respect and appreciate a manager who is attentive towards their opinions, problems and objections. Additionally, attentive listening will also provide you with feedback regarding the process flow and your team’s level of comprehension.
Another facet of communication is adequate coordination between you and the project stakeholders. You should take appropriate measures to give access to information to the stakeholders. This can be done in a stepwise process where the project team will have access to all basic information in a collaborative environment. Any team member can in turn be employed to take over the project information sharing system.