When it comes to project management, there are many different elements that all need to come together at the same time. We believe it’s an art that must be mastered.
Let’s take an example from another industry. A wedding planner must take a big-picture view of a wedding day to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, whilst also navigating any ad hoc questions from guests, like ‘Where is the bathroom?’ and ‘When is the food coming out?’.
But what qualities make a stand-out creative project manager?
We believe it’s about being proactive, rather than reactive. Does everyone involved in the project understand the expectations and what is needed from them? Does the stakeholder understand when they will receive what they’ve asked for? Is communication between everyone running smoothly?
The major pitfalls with project management are often linked to the team not having clear instructions with the next step of the process, the stakeholders not being informed on the overall status of the project, or the project manager themselves not keeping track of assets. Think of a project as being a chain of events that connect to one another. If a link within that chain breaks, then the rest of the project chain is broken too.
That doesn’t mean that if small mistakes arise, the whole project is a failure. What it does mean is that a project manager should be able to either foresee the issue and find a way to avoid it, or to think of an efficient solution if one does arise.
A successful project manager is one who understands and sets expectations. Project management involves multiple key skills:
- Understanding the task
Making sure everyone is fully aware of the objectives, delivery goals and expectations.
- Great communications
From updating the team and the stakeholders with the status of the assets and what needs to be done, to liaising on any feedback and setting up meetings to discuss plans of action.
- Keeping on top of it all
Anticipating the next steps and understanding the assets or moving parts and their individual status.
- Solving problems
There will always be questions that need answering, investigating or navigating.
To quote Joni Mitchell, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” This is true of project management, it’s only when it’s not around do you realise how vital it is.
So, this is just a shoutout for all project managers out there. We see you, we thank you and we can’t live without you!
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