An associate asked me for advice about being a project manager. This is an excerpt of my email response.
Things I find most helpful in managing projects:
* Learn how to run a meeting.
* Be organized. Really. Most of PM work is being the one in the room who is organized. Use a calendar, a ticketing system to manage tasks and who is doing them. Take notes. Be the one other people count on to be organized, because most people aren’t.
* Learn how to manage up. The busiest people are often the ones with the most power, who also happen to be the ones as a PM you need to corral when decisions need to get made.
* Learn to manage your own anxiety. The PM must read the room, herd the cats, finesse the decision-making. The PM cares about the schedule and the resources available. That can make you stressed. Figure out how to let that go, in whatever way works best for you. A kind of involved detachment works for me.
* Learn to recognize who holds the Truth. As the PM, it’s likely you.