Project Management: Leadership and Tactics
As a services company in customer support, moderation, social media, and community management, the fine art of project management is important to us!
And, being a project manager isn’t always easy. You’re the coworker, support system, point of contact, and above all, a confident and competent leader.
When we think of great leaders, the usual names often come to mind: Eisenhower, Macarthur, Rommel, Patton, Montgomery, just to name a few. These distinguished individuals operated at the highest caliber, in both tactics and strategy.
Leading From The Front
A project manager needs to lead from the frontline, not from the rear. With so much real-time information being exchanged between clients, account managers, projects managers and mods, staying current on project information is vital.
Be on the ground with the troops so you know what is happening, why it is happening, and when it is happening. Do not wait to find out about a potential issue from a shift update or daily report. Be proactive, be a participant within your team.
Every great leader realizes that constant, real-time communication is key to success in any situation.
Touch base with the client, account managers, and your staff every day. Ongoing dialogue helps to escalate small issues before they become problems, and ensures confidence and a solid foundation. Feedback goes both ways: if you aren’t hearing any feedback, you aren’t asking any questions. Spearhead communication consistently.
On The Ground
Find the place where the boots hit the dirt and get in the thick of the work with your team. Know your project scope thoroughly, and what each task, function, and expectation is of your team and their tools. Most project are constantly evolving and changing in some manner. Know the pitfalls, the trouble spots, the highlights, and track performance.
Patton and Rommel were successful leaders because they were on the ground with their troops.
Tactics And Tools Of The Trade
Nearly every project has a tool or platform to use in performing daily project tasks. Survey these toolsets, and become an expert as a “user” (the staff), a “manager” (you), and the “audience” (how actions taken in the tool affect the customer or community). Do not always rely on your client to explain the toolset to you. If its a 3rd party platform, get demos, make contacts, and go the extra mile.
Task tactics are imperative. Compare your project tactics to your tool efficiency. Make sure you understand how proficient your team is in tactics, with tools, and with the combination. Documentation and hands-on mentoring are vital.
Always work to ensure your mods have the latest information, support, and utilities to perform project tasks to the best of their abilities.
Food For Thought
How you choose to lead and the tactics you employ define you as a project manager. How you engage with your staff, your client, and the customer define your success as a project manager.
Your team can only be as effective as the leadership provided.