Project Managers – a Bridge between Clients and Developers
One of the biggest project-completion challenges, especially in the Software Development industry, stands at the communication level between all parties involved.
But how can communication, something we do every day, be such a hard thing to successfully accomplish at work?
Well, establishing a healthy environment that allows project stakeholders to provide and receive information freely, is certainly no easy task, and project managers should first be aware of all individual differences that their team might have before moving forward to the group dynamics and task coordination.
Apart from all the to-do lists and organizing tips that we are used to hearing whenever the words “project management” are discussed, an extremely important concept that stands above all is social competence. A project manager is thus the key tool to bridge the gap between clients and developers but not only by organizing meetings and organizing tasks. Some areas of focus that have proven to be effective in project management include authenticity, enthusiasm, and assertiveness.
Authenticity and truthfulness allow project managers to keep a consistent image of themselves and their stance with respect to the project team. In this way, the developers, as well as clients, are aware of the values both sides hold and they can rely on the information exchange which is facilitated by the project manager.
Staying true to yourself and others helps with conflict avoidance and conflict resolution which makes the communication process throughout the project smooth, efficient but most importantly enjoyable for everyone 🙂
Another extremely powerful trait that project managers should focus on includes enthusiasm. Since they are facilitators of the work process, it is of key importance to play the role of the encourager for the whole team.
Constant self-reflection and striving to become a better team player and provide better solutions enables PMs to reflect their enthusiasm to the developers which encourages them to similarly grow their task fulfillment and critical thinking potential. This provides a shared motivating purpose for the group which enables client expectations to be met resulting in trustful and positive client relations.
Finally, an assertive personality helps to create an objective and collective unity for the team. In an agile environment where individuals have to be adaptable to change, the last thing that the development team needs are uncertainty about roles and decisions. Hence, project managers serve as a backbone of decision-making and role clarity which enables all parties to have a clear path throughout the project lifecycle. This in turn provides a sense of security for the other project stakeholders.
All in all, considering that project managers do not always possess hands-on technical expertise, their role for the group is to provide guidance and a source of motivation for the team, which will nourish client-team relations.
So, to all the PMs out there: be authentic, understand the needs of your team and the needs of the client, and most importantly, empower others to become better versions of themselves not only through task delegation but through socio-emotional approaches as well.