Project Management Basics

It’s time to look at some basic project management skills to help you deliver your UX projects more efficiently.

Take Your Time and Listen at The Outset

Author/Copyright holder: Tim Pierce. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0

The big difference between a great project manager and an adequate one often comes at the start of a project. You need to take some time to learn the people, processes, etc. around you. You want to practice active listening (a mixture of asking insightful questions based on someone’s response to you and repeating back what you understand to check that you have it right). You want to develop a strong understanding of people’s priorities, their strengths and also their weaknesses. The better handle you have on your clients, stakeholders, team mates, etc. the better you can deliver their expectations and use them effectively to move the project forward.

Help Solve Problems

Author/Copyright holder: Nic McPhee. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s easy to become so focused on your work that you let other people head off blithely in the wrong direction and only learn about it on delivery day. Check in with people regularly throughout the course of the project – are they on track? If not; what can you do to help them get on track? Your skills as a problem solver for users can easily transform into problem solving with and for your teammates. The earlier you address fundamental issues – the less chance they have of derailing your project.

Ask for Help

Author/Copyright holder: New York Times. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved Img source

None of us, no matter how experienced or intelligent, are capable of doing everything right the first time around. A leadership role in a UX project does not mean that you are infallible. If you find yourself struggling then you want to reach out to the right person in your team and get their input. This has the added bonus that your team will respect you more. That’s right – they’ll respect you more for being capable of asking for assistance rather than burying issues and trying to shift the blame at a later date.

Get to Know Your Customers as Well as Your Users

Your customers may have very different objectives from your users in an Enterprise setting. You want to find out as much as you can about their needs, visions, etc. so that your product doesn’t just please the person that will be using it but it meets larger objectives too. Customer experience may be someone else’s responsibility in your organization but you can work with them in order to deliver their objectives as well as your own. This casts you in the role of team player and can win you a lot of support for your ideas and initiatives in house. When others can trust you to help them – they’ll help you back.

 Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: Derek Palizay. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved. Img

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