5 Steps to Stress Free Project Management

Have You ever tried to lead a talented set of individuals? Did You feel them ask Who are You & Why should We Care? Take time to answer this question and the team will take care of the project. Result: The rare experience of being a Stress Free Project Manager AND leading Team to Project Success.

Life is peaceful and pleasant when you are a professional. You can be sure of your promotions and rewards as long as you do a good job and excel at what you do. However the moment you start managing projects and other people your own advancement now depends on other people’s performance and how you enhance the teams output.


Who are You… and why should we care?

As a project manager this is one question that You ignore at your peril. The answer to this question establishes trust and camaraderie in the team. If not addressed it leads to lack-luster performance and possibly project failure.

If you want to have your cake and eat it too: i.e. when you want to succeed at your business projects and at the same time have a lot of fun and enjoy a stress free life, it would help a lot if you took care to answer this unspoken question.

Who are You?

You need to have established yourself within the organization and in your domain area as an expert. You need to know the technicalities of the projects that you handle. You should be in a position to offer possible solutions and draw your team out of dead-end situations. This is a pre requisite to being an effective Line Manager, a Technical Lead who manages projects.

In case you do not have the required technical and domain knowledge, then you should be a good people manager. You should be a counselor, mentor and gain the trust of the people whom you manage. Moreover it helps if you have a good image, a good perceived standing with your organization’s Top Managers – at least with your own boss.

When you are one level removed from the technical staff this would usually suffice. However you should ensure that you are able to delegate the technical handling, technical trouble-shooting to competent and able Line Managers and Technical Leads.

I do not care how much You know… until I know how much You care“. This in essence defines and emphasizes the importance of looking after the people on your teams. Build your project communication bridges with your team and ensure that you have them with you.

That takes us to the next part of the all-important question of easy stress free project management.

Why should we care?


Trust within

As a project manager you need to build trust with your team… for which You need to have integrity and honesty. Do read “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” to understand what you should do and what You should not do to build Trust.


Commitment to the project

Get your teams commitment and buy-in into the project at hand. For ideas on how to do this, read the article “10 Steps to create Winning Teams


Get out of their way

Having empowered and delegated the responsibility of the project to the appropriate people, do everyone on the project a huge favor: Get out of the way. Do not breathe down their backs… let them make a few mistakes, take a few project risks and let them grow on their own. This is the hardest thing a manager can do and it very essential for the project’s success.


Be available as an escalation point

You should track the progress and ensure that the status of the project is healthy. Let the team know that you are available to help them out at any time. You should take on the role of an external consultant and that of the project customer / client’s representative. As part of the team rules, define how and when they should approach you. Describe a few escalation scenarios so that the team is aware that there are situations when you should be contacted for help at the earliest.

Here we have seen how answering the unspoken question “Who are you and why should we care?” helps you enjoy a stress free management life.