Project management sounds like a simple enough task; in reality, it’s a challenging and multi-faceted job that requires skill and planning. Still, it’s also a rewarding responsibility. It’s quite satisfying to celebrate each and every milestone, most especially the completion of the project.

Are you an aspiring project manager who needs some advice? Are you a long-time project manager who needs to optimise or brush-up on some skills and knowledge? Here are a few helpful tips to become better at project management:

Know What Your Projects Are

To become an effective project manager, you need to be able to determine what your projects are in the first place. In some cases, you may only be dealing with a simple task. In others, you may actually be dealing with a collection of projects. Be as specific and thorough as you can so that you won’t skip small but important details. A good tip is to first write down the things you’re working on currently. Then, write everything you want to be working on in the next few weeks. This will lead to a list of multiple current projects with a clearer scope. Sort them according to priority and start working your way from top to bottom.

Pick a Project Management Tool

Technology has made it more convenient for project managers to do their jobs. Not only are there various project management tools, but there are also project management classes that can help you and your team be more productive. Pick one tool that best suits your organisation and then develop your proficiency in it for seamless project management. Of course, don’t forget your basic competencies and specialisations like creating Gantt charts, reporting, and data analysis.

Define Critical Milestones

Even the smallest projects have big, defining moments. Make sure to identify these milestones per phase of the project and not just lump them as one. This way, you can easily monitor if you’re on track and meeting (or even exceeding) expectations. Without defining milestones, it will be more difficult for you to determine if you’re actually achieving what you set out to do.

Figure Out Your Schedule

A well-managed project is time-bound. Give each project a start and end date, then do the same for each milestone for that project. It’s fine if some dates overlap but make sure you and your team know how to prioritise. Moreover, make sure that your team isn’t overwhelmed by tight deadlines. This can lead to work stress and other unwanted effects. You should try to follow your schedule to the letter, but at the same time be open to necessary adjustments.

With a schedule in place, you can prevent projects from going overdue. Moreover, a schedule can also help you decide if a project should be stopped temporarily.


Effective communication between all the stakeholders is key to the smooth progression of any project. Make sure that everyone is always on the same page to avoid getting blindsided by sudden changes. As a project manager, it falls upon you to ensure that the communication lines among your team stay open. You can use various communication methods like messaging apps or even the always-reliable email. Remember that poor communication can often lead to failed projects. Emphasise to your team that they shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with you about anything related to the project.

Know Your Team

A project manager can’t do things alone. That’s why you have your team members to help you achieve your milestones and ultimate goals. Learn your team’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can distribute tasks accordingly. If someone needs help, another team member can always step in and offer their complementary skills. With proper delegation that considers each person’s strengths, your projects will be completed faster and will likely be successful. Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses will also help you manage expectations.

Know the Risks

A good project manager knows that no project is without risks. These risks can put your project in jeopardy—that is, if you don’t know how to deal with them. To make sure that your team knows what to do when faced with these threats, lay them out even before the project starts. Use data to your advantage to help predict and assess risks. Historical information can also give you an idea on what to do and not to do in dealing with similar risks. You should also allocate ample time within your project’s schedule to account for delays that may occur when issues arise. Finally, make sure to communicate with your clients the possibility of such risks and that your team is prepared to handle these situations.


Project management may be challenging, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make things a little easier. With these tips, you can become a better project manager and lead your team to more and more successful projects.