5 goals every project manager should have


As an astute project manager, you know that having set goals and intentions for the short and long term are essential. Knowing what you are working towards will give you momentum and direction. As a project manager, you need to show leadership and have direction. If you don’t know what you are working toward, you (and consequently your team) will flounder. Here are some essential project management goals that will see you move from strength to strength.

Consider the ROI

It’s a good exercise to start each year with a careful look at the actual returns on investment you are really getting out of your investments and your team. Knowing what is worth investing in rather than functioning on assumptions will help you to spend your time and money on endeavors and people that really move your company forward. As a project manager, you must know what ROI to expect so that you can ascertain whether your team is performing optimally.

Project managers are also responsible for investing not only in the financial, tangible ROI that you can put on a spreadsheet but also in other returns like customer satisfaction and staff retention. When your employees are happy, they stay longer and work more efficiently which reflects well on you as a project manager.

A successful project manager sets clear goals

Successful project managers set attainable, realistic goals for each of their team members. You want your team members to feel like they are developing and moving forward in their careers. This will help to improve their commitment and prevent the kind of clock-watching apathy that kills creativity. Ascertain their goals for their lives and careers and discuss the changes they can make this year that will bring them closer to those goals.

Set short-term and long-term goals that are realistic and offer tangible rewards for when those goals are achieved. Bonuses should be earned, not expected.

Work on communication

As a project manager, you are the tie that binds your team together. You must be very effective at communicating what is expected of them. You should also be open to their ideas, you should also discuss issues and express appreciation for a job well done. Examine the issues and problems that your team experienced last year and find ways of communicating that will help to mitigate those problems in the future. A project manager who is able to communicate well with team members is more likely to be successful.

Don’t micromanage

Effective project managers know the difference between offering assistance and micromanaging. When you are assigning tasks to your team members, ensure that each person knows exactly what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them. As a project manager, it is your job to make them aware of accountability. You also have to set deadlines that are fair and realistic.

Once tasks have been assigned, the professional project manager trusts his team members to work independently. Check up on progress when the project is about half way through and again just before the deadline to ensure that work is on track.

It’s an inevitable part of every project manager’s life that they will have to hold team members accountable when they don’t complete their tasks properly or on time. When this happens, discuss ways in which the issue can be resolved and ways in which it can be prevented in the future.

Have fun!

As a project manager, you have so much responsibility and the pressure of getting it right can be intense, so it’s not surprising that you may forget to enjoy yourself. Having a sense of humor, creating a sense of camaraderie among your employees and encouraging fun is a great way to reduce stress, improve team cohesion and make your office an enjoyable place to work.

Setting goals for the year will not only make you a better project manager, it will also help to focus your energies and, when you get to the end of the year, you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that you have succeeded and you will have a sense of achievement and satisfaction.