A project, any project, is multi-faceted. Each project involves a lot of people that are experts at what they do, and there are a lot of wheels turning at all times. There are deadlines and milestones. There are personalities and people. There are wants and needs. Even the smallest project in the tiniest of companies is usually a big undertaking.
While the managers and finance folks are busy working on their part of the project, the marketing team and the number crunchers are putting their minds to their portion of the mission. With so many moving pieces, it only makes sense to have a project leader at the helm of the venture. Although the role of a project leader will vary by industry, the main functions remain the same across the board: a good project leader will be proficient with policy, dedicated to deadlines, and professional to the people that are involved.
The thing about project leaders is that they’re not generally specialized in any one specific aspect of the company or project. Rather, they specialize in overseeing the tasks in their entirety. For example, a project leader for a website must know about writing, organizing, navigation, light programming, trouble-shooting and testing of the site. Like many of our Optimum Systems Online clients have discovered, the importance of having a good project leader that encompasses a little bit of all of the skill sets that go into a particular project. Going over budget and failing to meet deadlines can easily happen if the person that is put in charge of overseeing the tasks isn’t fit for the job.
Here are some of the top reasons that a good project leader can enhance an organization’s overall situation:
- Leadership. From the top down or from the bottom up, a good project leader understands what the organization is trying to accomplish as a whole, and he or she works with the members of the team to ensure that the proper leadership is provided. This person may be a sounding board for frustration or they may be the cheerleader for a job well done. In either case, great leadership is certainly one benefit (or necessity) to be had from a great project leader.
- Communication. Not everyone is great at talking about where they’re at in a project and what’s gone wrong along the way. Of course, things are going to go wrong, fall behind, and get frustrating. That’s just a fact of life. A good project leader has the communication skills to bridge the gaps of the staff that are involved in the project. When a positive channel of communication is created, team members are more likely to feel a part of the grand scheme of things. They’ll understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and they’ll know where their peers are at with the other aspects of the project. While poor communication during a project can lead to low employee morale and high turnover, good communication can lead to team-building and increased productivity because everybody’s on the same page.
- Proactivity. Yes, surprises will happen. Perhaps the only thing that isn’t a surprise is that surprises will happen! A good project leader utilizes his or her past experiences and good wit to foresee problems and work to put out the fires before they even start. Problems can run the gamut, and they can go from unhappy clients to issues with the internal systems of your own company. We at OSO have learned to anticipate issues before they begin, and we’ve seen it all, from an outside designer who held files hostage because his feelings were hurt, to a client who decided they needed an ecommerce store a week before the website’s launch. Anticipation and proactivity saved the day both times.
- Happy Clients and Employees. It is the ultimate responsibility of a project leader to ensure that the needs of both the client and the staff involved are met. A good project leader can balance the two sets of needs, which are clearly often quite different. Happy clients are, after all, built from happy customers. A good project manager can keep budgets and deadlines in check while building employee morale and a team mentality.
If you want to know more about how a good project leader can enhance your company’s current or future ventures, don’t hesitate to seek out someone that can help you take your company to the next level. Project leadership and project management are growing field that are gaining notoriety daily, and there are plenty of skilled professionals out there that are just waiting to work for you!