This guest post is provided by A.G. Wu, Engagement Leader at Cerner Corporation on six strategies to become a more efficient project manager:
- Be a mentor. Promote independence in those around you. I hold regular meetings with clients (not just the PM) to ensure a full understanding of the WHY’s behind everything our project methodology entails. Areas benefited include MethodM access, meeting and event preparations, conversion readiness reviews, RDDS, and scope creep. All of which save time for not just me but the whole Cerner team.
- Do it right the first time. If you have to explain something more than once, you didn’t communicate it well enough the first time. Quality up front = time saved later.
- Establish trust. The more client trust you, the less they will challenge every minutia of your strategy. In turn, countless low-value meetings are spared. How? Be consistent and demonstrate character. Make the hard but right choices. Explain your rationale, not just ‘this is how it is.’ Most importantly, produce results. Trust saves time.
- Communicate succinctly. Use short sentence. Strip emotion from the message. Give numbers, examples, attachments. Give answers to predictable questions to shorten back-and-forth cycles. Call people when the message is more complex. Caveat: be judicious about setting up calls. The wrong call topic can take up more time than emails.
- Preventive, not reactive. No doubt controversial, I find the bi-weekly calls to be useful for PM updates and but not team updates back to the PM team. Instead, I hold half hour bi-weekly calls with each ‘major’ solution. Calls with foundation solutions are catalyst driven; for example, Core prior to System Validation to discuss security testing. This investment in extra call time allows me to dig beneath the surface and sniff out the risks before they become issues, which require more time to resolve. Also, accurate % completions are ensured through project task review on the calls. Being preventive saves time.
- Work while you’re traveling. Have a list of things you plan to accomplish while waiting at the airport terminal and on the plane. Then do them. Accountability saves time.
About A.G. Wu, PMP:
A.G. Wu currently serves as an Engagement Leader at Cerner Corporation where he is currently the project manager of Cerner Millennium inpatient implementations at community hospitals and integrated delivery networks. Wu’s solution experience includes CPOE, nursing documentation, maternity, device integration, patient portal, and public health reporting. Wu is an Emory University graduate with a degree in Economics and Pre-Medicine.