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Top tips for the accidental project manager

No matter what job you do it always helps to know a bit about project management. Even if you never plan to be a proper project manager we all need some PM skills, including if you work in a business such as an SEO consultancy, from time to time to help us with our daily jobs or home projects. Even starting up a business (or just a blog!) will go more smoothly if you have some basic project management knowledge. You don’t need any fancy tools – just a spreadsheet will do.

So if this sounds like you check out our tips below:

  1. Manage Expectations – You don’t need to attend project management training courses (although look out for free help online) to get a qualification if you are only using project management to streamline your work in another role. But something you can learn from basic project management principles is to manage the expectations of those around you, especially important stakeholders. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver and if something goes wrong make sure you tell people before it becomes an unmanageable problem. Similarly if you know some people are expecting something more than they will get in reality then explain (again and again if necessary) exactly what is and isn’t being done.
  2. Create milestones – Creating milestones can help you keep your work on target – you don’t need to have passed the APMP exam (now known as the APM PMQ) to know this. A reasonable number of milestones would be 5-10 for any project but it really depends on the size and complexity of what you are doing. Clearly setting up a 5 page WordPress blog will be simple compared with a fully functioning e-commerce site. Nevertheless setting milestones is a crucial part of successful outcomes and if you are working in a team don’t forget to get the others involved and on board.
  3. Keep your eye on the benefits – It is important to remember that the goal is to deliver what is expected but also that some benefit will be obtained – otherwise why are you working so hard? It can be easy to lose sight of the benefits when you are busy working away and requirements are regularly changing.
  4. Learn to delegate – anyone who has started a blog or a business that has grown will know that it is tempting to try and do everything yourself but at some point this will become impossible. It is a serious mistake to believe that you need to do everything on your own. Apart from anything, planning and working in isolation will prevent you benefitting from a flow of ideas and brainstorming.

So there you have it – just a few top tips for anyone who wants to become better organised and more efficient by learning from project management principles.

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About Phong T

Phong is a Web Developer, Web Coder with 5+ years experience in PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of 9BlogTips.com, provides thousands of free JavaScript code examples, and writes about web development, blogging and small business topics. Follow him on twitter@9blogtips or connect with him on facebook@9blogtips and google+phong-thai.

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