You are on page 1of 2

How can become better project managers?

Here are some 10 practical tips to help you get better. While I dont recommend that you do all
of these at once, pick a combination that works for you.

1. Read

In 1851, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, Reading is equivalent to thinking
with someone elses head instead of with ones own. Reading project management books and
blogs is like having a conversation with the authors. You get inside their minds. You gain
valuable insights.

2. Get a Project Management Credential

One of the best ways to improve your PM knowledge is through acquiring a PM credential. The
credential process forces you to invest a significant amount of time in learning and understanding
project management principals, tools, and techniques. Check out the PMI Credentials.

3. Ask for Challenging Projects

If you run 5K races, how can you become a stronger runner? Run 10K races.

Ask for more challenging projects that allow you to expand your knowledge into other areas of
your company. Look for projects that allow you to utilize newly gained PM knowledge.

4. Find a Mentor

If you take on challenging projects, ask a more experienced PM for coaching. We can all benefit
from guidance and coaching, no matter how long we have been managing projects.

When asking someone to mentor you, be clear about your expectations. How long do you want
to be mentored? How often would you like to meet? What are you hoping to learn?

5. Mentor Someone

Once you have gained experience, mentor other PMs. Let a PM or two know that you are
available to help them. As you mentor others, you will not only help your mentees, you will gain
much yourself.

6. Ask for Feedback

Consistently seek feedback. If you lead a meeting, ask someone after the meeting what you can
do to improve future meetings. If you speak, ask someone before you speak to jot down
observations, good and bad, to share with you afterward.
7. Keep a Project Journal

I have found keeping a project journal very helpful. Journaling allows me to capture my
thoughts, vent when I need to, and provides perspective as I review the chronology of my
projects. For more information, see my blog post on 7 Benefits of Keeping a Project Journal.

8. Sleep and Nap More

I know this item seems out of place, but getting adequate sleep is essential for great
performance. The average American gets 6 1/2 hours of sleep per night. Several studies have
demonstrated significant improvements in performance and in our ability to learn when we get
adequate sleep.

You owe it to yourself read Tony Schwartzs post on Sleep Is More Important Than Food.

9. Do Things That Matter

Stop wasting your time on trivial things. Focus on the things that get results. Remember, the
80/20 rule. Of the things you do every day, only about 20% really matter.

10. Review Lessons Learned

Check with your PMO or experienced PMs to see if you can get access to lessons learned. Why
make mistakes that others have already made? Discover what others have learned through the
school of hard knocks.