Project management, regardless of industry, is a challenging field of work, filled with uncertainty and risk. The challenges faced by project managers, whether they work in the manufacturing, IT or financial sector, all require a good degree of intuition, diligence and critical-thinking to solve.
Regardless of your approach to project management problem solving, there’s a lot to be said for ensuring your trained in the latest project management methodologies.
The financial sector is a particularly difficult sector for project managers to operate efficiently within. Beyond overseeing project development, project managers must balance opraions that could potentially involve millions of pounds worth of stocks and shares.
In a demanding environment such as this, ensuring you have adequate training is paramount. Project manage training can provide project managers with a solid understanding of how project management can adapt and respond accordingly to consumer trends and market conditions. If you’d like to know more, why not read up on some of the basic PRINCE2 principles that help guide project managers to success.
With that in mind, here ae just a few project management tips to help you excel in your career as a project manager within the financial sector.
Don’t over-prioritize cost reduction
Too often, organizations see cost-reduction as the be-all and end-all of project management. Naturally, project development efficiency is important but when efficiency is focused on to the exclusion of all else, business will start to falter.
Employees who are expect to function as flawless machines will naturally become so obsessed with perfecting the minutiae of their work that they will lose sight of end-goals.
If you become overly preoccupied with immediate results and ignore the bigger picture, don’t be surprised when customer satisfaction takes a nose-dive.
You need to take a step back occasionally and assess your impact as a project manager. Micro-management is rarely beneficial for the project as a whole. Your job isn’t to perfect the roles of each development team, but to observe from a distance and remove any potential obstacles to their work.
Focus on creating self-organizing teams, capable of monitoring their own progress and creating their own solutions rather than viewing yourself as the sole focus of project governance.
Focus on your soft skills
Many typical project management skills are easily applicable to the management of financial projects. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator and be able to direct your development teams efficiently. You’ll also spend much of your time liaising with clients and upper management.
Enthusiasm is another vital trait of good project manager, you need to inspire your development teams with a can-do attitude.
Be the example to your teams. Set a precedent by remaining diplomatic, approachable and trustworthy.
Learn to accept failure
Financial project mangers need to keep an eye on overall project goals while also paying attention to the small details. You’ll need to be an efficient organizer and able to juggle several problems simultaneously.
Foresight when it comes to markets and the mood of the economy is essential but it’s not always possible to balance your roles as project manager and analyst at the same time, inevitably, you’ll slip up and make a mistake.
Even if you follow every bit of guidance provided by project management methodologies, you won’t be able to reach your peak performance as a project manager without reflecting on past errors and learning to compensate for failure.
Tailor your approach
Even within financial services, different projects will possess different structures, resources and requirements. Add in the different FinTechs, legacy businesses and sub-sectors and you’ll discover each project will have a very different profile.
This makes tailoring your approach to suit the unique context of each project of vital importance.
Every project manager needs to ensure they have adequate training to tackle each problem projects will throw at them.
If you haven’t already, consider investing in an agile project management training course. Agile is tailor-made to fit the demands of contemporary markets and is known for its trade-mark ability to adapt to any given situation.