Being a manager, or assuming a leadership role within a company bears a lot of responsibility. It’s really a difficult position as the person is accountable for success, they need to work closely with a board of directors or stakeholders, and at the same time work closely with employees. In other words, you are a diplomat or a mediator between those two sides and usually swamped with work. Here we will go over some of the key points on how to be good at it, or at least what kind of mindset you should have in order to gradually become better.
First and foremost, your primary goal is for a project to be successfully executed, which includes a lot of planning. The best way to go about this is to break down or segment the project into meaningful chunks or milestones.
Once you have those milestones, you need to divide them into single tasks which makes the whole time calculation or scheduling process a lot easier. Now bear in mind that you are talking about an ideal situation where nothing goes wrong, which will almost never happen, depending on the project’s complexity. So, leave a lot of wiggle room when it comes deadlines in case things go wrong, in order to avoid scope creep.
Also, it is important to know that your initial assessments could be off and that tasks are not completed as efficiently as you would like. It is important that you make necessary adjustments, be transparent about it, and keep everyone involved appraised.
The successful execution of your project largely depends on the people involved or your team. To that end, you need to make sure everything goes as planned, you need to be inquisitive on how tasks are progressing, and you need to be willing to help out your team if needed. Each of the team members is an individual, with their own strengths weaknesses and life problems, and by knowing them better, allows you to organize things better.
Bear in mind that with a larger team you depend on more people, which also means more potential problems if someone is prevented from completing their task. In order to mitigate those risks, make sure you have solutions for outsourcing, to keep the project on track if needed. Finally, remember to encourage your team, use positive reinforcement, and reward them to ensure they are happy and productive.
Finally, you will need to manage board expectations, and write a lot of reports sometimes. It is important that c-suit gets reliable and realistic deadlines or schedules. For this to work, you need to minimize the speculation and provide more data-driven inputs.
Another important thing to remember is regular follow-ups with the board. If there has been a delay tell them about it and tell them how you plan to bridge those gaps. If you think the tasks are too copious and it’s hard to keep track of all things, let them know you will need an assistant. You can also give them daily or weekly progress or performance updates depending on the situation.
Finally, make sure they understand how you organized the tasks, how you calculated the time of execution, and why you are confident that the project plan will work.