As a project manager, the burden lies on you to surface problems, stay the course and manage expectations within a predetermined timeline.
You can talk endlessly about the process behind the product versus the product itself.
At the core, time management is a top skill of any great project manager. Take it from Thornton May, vice president of research and education at CTP’s lab that tracks strategy and tech at over 600 companies.
"If you do not aggressively, tangibly, and visibly manage time in your organization, you’re history," Thornton May's, vice president of research and education at CTP tells Fast Company.
The following five skills and tips can help you maximize time and become a top project manager:
This means the ability to be concise, clear and communicative across the board, including in-person, email and practice general good social skills.
This can also mean communicating big-picture strategy to your team as well. The Project Management Institute notes that a Pulse data shows 64 percent of high performers communicate strategy and business benefit more frequently, in comparison to 25 percent of low performers.
“They do need to be able to roughly understand the technical complexity of the features they put on the backlog, without any costing input from devs,” says Ian McAllister, senior manager at Traffic for Amazon, in a Forbes column. “They should partner with devs to make the right technical trade-offs (i.e. compromise).”
Sometimes, all it takes is a second to pause and think about how this small problem plays into the larger business goals. It also requires “staying cool, calm and collected when things go awry,” Tran says.
Practice sifting through heaps of information quickly, ignoring the irrelevant and focusing on the essential matters, he adds.
David C. Baker, author of Managing Right For the First Time, would agree and says that knowing what to note and what to ignore is crucial. "There's almost always too much data, and rarely too little," he says on 99u. "Ignoring the right things is better than trying to master extraneous data."