Learning from our failures!

5 Tips for Rookie Project Managers

First-time project managers have difficult challenges ahead of them. Taking the reins can be a daunting task for professionals who have minimal experience in supervisory positions. As a result, transitioning into an upper-level role can cause significant issues. For instance, a rookie might not have the requisite skills to guide a staff toward the successful completion of a project.

Your first time as a leader doesn’t have to go poorly as you can learn how to be an effective manager. To help achieve that objective, follow these tips for rookie supervisors.

Demand respect

Some employees might not be willing to listen to you because you’re not experienced, especially if you were once their colleague. It can be difficult for your former associates to accept that you’ve ascended to a new level on the corporate ladder while they’re stuck on the same step.

Demand respect on the first day by showing that you won’t tolerate any inappropriate behavior. Demonstrate that you expect the same level of professionals from your team that it would give to a tenured manager. If anyone continually disrespects you or questions your authority, punish them and explain why you had to take this course of action.

Help your workers flourish

Project managers aren’t just supposed to supervise their team members as they’re also meant to act as mentors. Teach employees how to refine their skills so they can become stronger professionals. This ensures that your staff will become more productive over time and won’t be come a stagnant group.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Jeff Schmitt, you should identify everyone’s strengths and then devise personal strategies. Develop plans to capitalize on those skills, but also create situations in which workers will have to adapt and overcome their weakness. This approach ensures that all your workers will be well-rounded professionals.

Be the leader you always wanted

Being asked to become a project manager is the perfect opportunity to become the supervisor who you always wanted as an employee. Think about what you expected of your boss and what qualities he or she should have possessed.

Additionally, take time to remember who your favorite managers were and why they were successful. Apply your former supervisors’ strategies to your current situation. Following the examples set by other leaders will help you develop your own approach for future projects.

Seek training

Of course, taking any job for the first time can be a frightening experience. Being thrust into a leadership position can be daunting if you’re not adequately equipped to assist workers, supervise progress on a project and ensure that minor tasks are handled.

Few professionals are natural leaders, but eventually they grew and developed the necessary skills. In a report for The Daily Muse, Adrian Granzella Larssen recommends seeking a mentor from someone who has management experience.

Seek training on your own time so you can grow. For instance, you can participate in workshops or seminars so you can learn how to become a strong manager. Consider asking your human resources department for recommendations on training courses.


There’s a strong temptation to take on every responsibility as the manager, especially when it’s your first time. You don’t want to tarnish your reputation by producing an inadequate project, setting a poor tone for the rest of your career.

Learning how to delegate should be your priority. Assign tasks and portions of the project to your team members because their job is to take on new responsibilities. Start by ceding control of minor responsibilities and then gradually move onto more sensitive matters when you feel more comfortable with your staff.

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