30 March 2017
The basics of managing people
Management can be a challenging role. It means creating a strategy to efficiently achieve a goal and then planning, organising and implementing that strategy. The most vital component in management is the team you build to deliver your plan. You have to be at the core of everything they do - motivating, organising and monitoring to ensure they pull together to deliver the desired result. In order to manage people, you'll need to master a range of proficiencies.
Planning is paramount
Before any work begins, full scoping and planning must be done. No matter what your project management methodology, it's vital to have key milestones so all relevant parties understand precisely what they have to achieve and on which timescales. No matter how well you plan, you can't foresee every obstacle, so create contingencies at every stage and even build in possible delays to your proposal.
While we all want to get things done 'as soon as possible', it's helpful to everyone involved to have realistic deadlines. Breaking a project down into smaller stages with multiple deadlines makes more sense than rushing towards a single end goal without proper coordination.
Management means putting the right people in the right positions and giving them tasks that they are best placed to complete as effectively and efficiently as possible. It's vital to know the strengths of your team and provide each member with exciting challenges. It can be difficult to let go of control, but utilising individuals with the right experience and a proven track record can provide assurance that you'll accomplish your desired outcome.
Ensure that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, and create an environment in which the team can work together to achieve their goals. Always be there to answer questions and provide guidance. It's always better that your co-workers get the right answers than wasting time with niggling doubts about doing the wrong thing.
Be an effective communicator
People cannot deliver your vision without clear communication. You must learn to use the skills at your disposal to get your message across - whether you choose presentations, meetings, one-to-one conversations or phone conferences. Ensure everyone knows how they fit into the bigger picture, rather than just focussing on one small area.
As an effective communicator, one of the most important things you can do is to listen. You want to make your team more efficient, so let them tell you what they need to get better and achieve more. Also ensure everyone working on a project is able to communicate with each other. This could mean moving desks or organising regular catch-ups.
Management means knowing what is happening at every stage of the project. While you cannot be involved in every intricate detail, you should take a broad overview and get involved in the finer points and key stages. During any project, you may find that you need to reallocate resources, change your approach or even find a Plan B. Nothing will ever go completely to plan, but by monitoring, you have the opportunity to implement contingencies and keep the workflow moving smoothly.
Would you like to know more? Gain further insights by taking our Managing People course .
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