So you are a Project Manger, Now What?

Rachel Phillips

UCSC Extension Project Leadership and Communications Student

Many of us are accidental project managers. So here are some survival tips.

Know Your Goal –

  • Before starting a project, decide on a goal by taking input from your project team and the key constituencies, i.e. people who are affected by your project.
  • Create a vision/mission statement that you can share and reinforce you’re your team.
  • Throughout the project it will be important to keep coming back to the goal and ensure you are not taking on sub projects that are not in alignment with your end goal.

Know Your People

  • Know thyself! The first step in knowing how to manage people is to understand how you work and what makes you effective as a project manager.
  • Realize that not all team members are the same; take the time to get to know the strengths and challenges of your team members.  This will enable you to play to the strengths and minimize the challenges.

Know Your Challenges

  • Do the up front work to analyze the project from different angles.  Understand the known risks (and how you might mitigate them) as well as prepare for the unknown risks.
  • Recognize that you may be one of the challenges, it is your job to help the team work effectively.  This may mean you have to do soul searching and adopt a different work style to attain success.

Find a Solution

  • There is no problem that can’t be overcome.  Reach out to others within your team, organization or network to brainstorm and determine next steps.  Don’t Give Up!
  • Remember:  Nobody is born the perfect Project Manager, constant growth, motivation and self reflection are required to be effective.  Every Project Manager has felt exactly the way you feel now… elation, frustration, determination.

You will Persevere!  Enjoy the Journey.


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