How to Manage Your Time as a Project Manager, by Andy Trainer

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    Guest Post by Andy Trainer, from Silicon Beach Training

    Project managers need a great deal of technical knowledge and project experience in order to do their job. Companies looking for effective time management techniques for project managers will therefore ask prospective candidates for evidence of training and of managing successful projects.

    What isn’t always appreciated is the skill in time management needed by project managers. Anyone with ‘manager’ in their title will have conflicting and varying demands on their time – but a project manager will have this more than most. The levels of control required by most PM frameworks, plus the need to manage a team whilst always reporting back to the client/executive, means project managers have just that little bit more on their plates.

    The purpose of implementing project management techniques is to avoid wasting time, money, and resources. A project manager who is not great at time management will eventually find that the effectiveness of the project suffers as a result. With that in mind, here are our tips on how to manage your time as a project manager:


    There are numerous different approaches to project management, and it’s important that everyone involved is working to the same guidelines. Without this consistency, you may find that different members of the team follow different processes – and wasted time will follow. Choose your project team with this in mind, and fill any training needs before the project begins.


    Inherent to any formal project is the project plan. The two extremes of project managers – those who are inexperienced and those who are blasé from managing projects for a long time – have a tendency to forget the importance of the project plan once it has been initiated. Always stay proactive – meet any challenges by returning to and revising the original project plan.


    Another sign of inexperience – or too much experience – is focusing on the task as opposed to the people on the team. Micro-managing because you know how to do the work quickly is not a way of saving time, no matter how tempting it may be. Your role as a project manager is to manage and guide – not to do the job yourself.


    Overly long meetings are so commonplace that it almost seems that people have accepted this nature and stopped trying to make it more efficient. Have a look at these guidelines for conductive effective meetings.


    The number one sign of someone who is failing at time management is someone who claims that time spent planning is a waste of precious time. Those who say they don’t have time to take a step back to prioritize time management overdoing are doomed to failure. Whilst an office manager or site manager may have their time management skills scrutinized, you’re not likely to have this as a project manager – there are many other aspects of the project that are being valued instead.

    If you feel that you have too many demands on your time, take a step back and plan – in whatever way works best for you. Whether this is in the form of to-do lists or otherwise, the main thing is that you make time management a priority.


    For more resources, see the Library topic Project Management.


    Silicon Beach Training Brighton-based training provider, offering both Time Management and PRINCE2 Foundation training.