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The Association of Retail and Consumer Professionals

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By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Managing a project seems simple enough but many retail dietitians are trying to oversee multiple projects at a time. That’s a lot of spinning plates to keep in the air! Successful project management is mostly about understanding what it takes to see each project through to the finish and about how to navigate around potential roadblocks effectively. Here are five things every great project manager should do.

  1. Involve your team. Good project managers have strong leadership skills and understand the strengths of each person on their team. This knowledge helps you devise a plan for using each individual’s abilities within the project. You must also have a good grasp of each team member’s workload and schedule in order to plan out the project timeline and tasks. As you assign tasks, let your project team know that you trust their capabilities. It will encourage them to be more proactive and creative.
  2. Set realistic goals. As you outline your project goals, make sure they are ambitious, aligned with internal corporate strategy, yet realistic. You can then decide what deliverables, or metrics you’ll use to track your project progress. These quantifiable milestones should steer you toward your main objective. Set these deliverables in advance and communicate them clearly so everyone knows the project direction and expectations.
  3. Leverage project management tools. Technology can play a big role in helping to successfully manage projectsA work operating system (Work OS), for example, makes it easy to view your team’s progress. Work OS software like Monday.com can store and display all project details for everyone to visually monitor information in a variety of views including timelines, charts and dashboards. A Work OS can also allow you to create documents, attach files and provide feedback to other team members from one central location.
  4. Provide constant communication. To succeed at project management, ongoing communication is essential during the entire process with all team members and stakeholders. Be open and honest with your comments and encourage team members to do the same by sharing their suggestions, potential issues and any concerns. Schedule regular check in times with the group and/or individuals so you can prioritize time for communication. Between in-person meetings, make sure everyone is using your Work OS system to also document comments and to communicate completed tasks or setbacks.
  5. Learn from others. If you know of others in your company who are excellent project managers, talk to them about their approach, procedures and the tools that help them succeed.  Ask them to share past failures as well to see how they have overcome obstacles and roadblocks.

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