Teams are involved with work of all types, shapes and sizes. And an increasing number of us are finding ourselves having to lead these teams towards positive outcomes whether we chose to ascend to these positions of leadership or not, and with or without any formal background in “project management”. In fact, we conducted a survey among 200 people based in North America who manage or participate in projects and found that two out of three participants lead projects, but are not project management certified. What’s more, a third of participants manage projects even though it’s not their primary role. Chances are, you’re one of these “accidental project managers”.
This means you probably often find yourself responsible for managing an important body of work and tasks but don’t really know how. No doubt, you feel more and more overwhelmed as your workload increases and you look at the hurdles you have to jump, the people you have to bring together and the tight deadlines you have to meet. The stress that comes as a result can lead to inefficient ways of working and these can have a notable impact on your productivity. You’re not alone!
In today’s 24/7 economy, just how many projects are accidental project managers juggling? The survey found:
- Two-thirds of teams work on 6-30 projects per year, some large and some small
- Less than 5 percent reported handling more than 40-plus projects annually
- Team size varies widely with two-thirds working on teams of 6-15 people
- 20 percent work on larger teams of 16 or more
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The truth is that you can achieve success without being an expert on all the subtleties of completing tasks. That’s why we’ve put together a Survival Guide guaranteed to put you on the right path to working smarter.
Our tips cover everything you need to know to manage projects like a pro:
- Put in place a plan that is connected to the wider strategy and gives you and your team full visibility over priorities and milestones
- Ensure everyone in your team is clear on their respective goals
- Assign team members the tasks that match their skills
- Put in place procedures ensuring you, your colleagues, and stakeholders are collaborating in flexible ways that minimize setbacks
- Understand and apply trusted methods of work and task management
- Discover the tools that can help with all the above