Agency, Work

5 Habits of Highly Effective Project Managers

No matter what type, there are a lot of different components that make up every project. From timelines, deliverables and team members, there is a lot to keep on top of. It may seem simple from an outside perspective, but every project manager knows that it is more common than not to run into challenges along the way. Effective project managers don’t eliminate all challenges, but instead have systems and habits in place to minimize them when they do arise. So, if you’re wondering how to develop habits that will make you more effective as a PM, we have five tips for you here. Keep reading to find out!


Habit 1: Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

Establishing priorities is an important part of any project, regardless of the size. It can help you focus on what needs to be done first and how long it will take to complete. It allows you to make effective use of your time and resources. By making a list of all the tasks to be completed and reflecting on the urgency and importance of each task, you can work on what needs to be done and get it done effectively and competently.


Habit 2: Be proactive 

Highly effective project managers are those who focus on the long-term objectives and goals of the project, instead of reacting to short-term issues that arise in the present moment. By being proactive and thinking long-term, PMs can prepare and plan for these issues before they arise. They adapt and refine the plans to ensure that all projects stay on track.


Habit 3: Balance empathy with assertiveness

After the past number of years, I think it’s safe to say that there is a general consensus in the world that we need to have a lot more empathy and spread a lot more kindness where possible. It’s about listening, showing sensitivity and understanding others, and is a vital leadership skill. In saying that, each person has their own personal responsibility to fulfill their obligations. By monitoring their performance, offering constructive feedback and being assertive if they are not meeting expectations, you will have gained respect and rapport with your subordinates. 


Habit 4: Understand the processes in depth

Having an in-depth understanding of the processes and phases of project management is essential for having effective systems in place. Using frameworks like the Agile methodology and Waterfall methodology and having great knowledge of the project lifecycle will help you choose and create the best system and process for your own projects.


Habit 5: Track your teams performance and progress

Further, efficiency and effectiveness go hand in hand. Effective project managers are constantly studying the metrics and timesheets to see where their team spends most of their time. By doing this, they can root out any inefficiencies in the current process and refine it so that there are no obstacles during the lifecycle of the project.


As they say, ‘old habits die hard’, but they can and will! If you mindfully try and incorporate these habits into your project management processes you will definitely alleviate many of the obstacles and challenges that PMs can face. By force of habit, you will change these 5 tips to part of your daily routine and you will see great results in your efficiency, productivity and success of your projects.