Here are some helpful tips for project managers.
1 Processes are there to help you, follow them.
Some companies may already have some kind of project management methodology available and in force, so you will just have to learn that. But just because they already have some that doesnt mean you cant suggest new and different ways to improve the process. If you do this then the other employees may be impressed and you can show them you can be trusted and are useful. One important thing you should do when you are a project manager is to keep up to date, read books and new articles so that you dont fall behind. Depending on who you work for, some companies may expect this of you, but it will only make you a better project manager even if youre not asked to do so. If the company you work for has a methodology in place then they will almost definitely have some general processes diagrams. If they do have some, then I would recommend printing them off and sticking them on your wall to use as a reference when needed.
2 Try employing a Mentor.
When starting out, employing an experienced mentor can really help you succeed in you work. Everyone knows that experience and knowledge can be passed on so you might as well utilise this and learn from someone who has done it all before. You may be lucky and the company may have someone already employed who can help you, or you may have to find someone outside of the company to help you. If you have to find your own mentor then try to find someone who can really motivate you and has a positive attitude, this can really help.
3 You should be using Tools.
No, not hammers and spanners, you need to utilise software tools.
These can help you to work quicker and easier whether is on a big job or for a little single function job. All of these can add up to saving you time and effort, which can then be directed towards other aspects of your job. Some of this software is quite specialist and may take time to learn, if you dont already know it. These tools can help to create plans for your projects, help task management, make mind maps and allow risks and issues to be logged easily. I would suggest learning how to use these tools as soon as possible as they can hugely benefit you. But if you cant, then you should at least know how to use Microsoft Excel as it is a fantastic tool with multiple functions available at your finger tips.
4 Templates Save Time.
If you are a new project manger then you may not have your own templates, but if you arent then your templates can be very handy and should be quite easy to manipulate them for new companies/ jobs. If you are new and in need of templates then look no further than the internet, there are plenty available out there, some are free and some you will have to pay a bit of money for. Or you could just start from scratch and create your own.
5 Planning is key.
If you can create the perfect plan then thats, within reason, most of the battle won when it comes to project management. With a good, solid structure in place and your project team in complete harmony, your project should run smoothly and easily. Obviously we all live in the real world and unforeseen issues can arise but as a project manager you should be able to deal with them and steer the project to the end. A bonus of a good plan is that you can show it to everyone involved (project team, bosses, stakeholders, customers) and prove they can put their faith in you to complete a successful project.