13 Tips For New Project Managers


In this video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, speaks to the new project manager, providing practical and real-life advice on how to successfully kick-off and manage your project.

In Review: 13 Simple Project Management Tips

Jennifer offered an outline of best practices for the beginning project manager and also those who find themselves accidentally cast in the role of managing a project at their place of employment.

The following 13 steps are ones that have a real-life application for, and as Jennifer said, they were shared with her when she started working as a project manager.

  • Define the project
  • Understand its life-cycle and its deliverables
  • Keep it simple
  • Seek help
  • Ask questions
  • Enlist mentors
  • Identify go-to people
  • Respect your team
  • Listen to customers and engage stakeholders
  • Discern input
  • Leverage templates
  • Be prepared
  • Always be planning

These lucky 13 items are the commandments of a good project manager. Think of them as a covenant, the skeleton of your project, whatever metaphor works for you. Ignore them at your own risk.

Of course, sometimes we have to make mistakes to find the right path through a project, and you will make mistakes. This guideline, however, insures that you control the mistakes and they don’t control you and derail the project.

Thanks for watching!


Hello. I’m Jennifer Bridges, Director of ProjectManager.com. Welcome to our whiteboard session today on about PM, Project Management for Beginners. So whether you are an accidental project manager, someone who just accidentally fell into the profession or someone who is an intentional project manager, someone who’s been planning in advance, and preparing, and studying for project management.

So these are 13 keys that someone shared with me when I initially started project management and I wanted to share them with you. I’ve always found them helpful and I’ve always kept them in hand.

Number one; know the definition of a project. So many times there are certain things that are going on that are project related versus operations, they’re operationally related. So knowing the difference between the two and tracking the project related activities with the project and not intermingling in the operational aspects.

Number two: understanding the project lifecycle and associated deliverables. There are many different references that you can go to. You can actually Google these terms or you can go to the Project Management Institute and they have a project management body of knowledge that has this defined.

Number three: it’s important to keep things simple. I mean, a lot of projects are complex, but if you keep things simple, well, after all it just makes it simple. There is something to be said for making complex projects simple.

Number four: seek help. If you’re stuck on something, instead of remaining stuck and seeking out help, just go ahead and seek out help so you don’t become a bottle neck for your own project. And ask questions, I know when I started there were two people that I sought out that I asked any kind of questions. I just sat and I asked the same kind of questions over and over and over until I got it. So it’s important to go ahead and ask questions, get clarification, get the support that you need while you need it at that time.

Number six: enlist your mentors. I think it’s important to have mentors. I still today have my list of mentors who helped me in different areas. So find one that can help you, not only mentor you with your project related activities, but maybe mentor you in the organization or the type of project that you’re doing.

Number seven: Identify your go to people. So always on my teams and in my organizations or even the stakeholders or the customer’s organizations, I find my go-to people. Those are the people that I know I can go to and always get information I need, the support or escalation or any kind of information that I need. Those are my go to people.

Number eight: respect your team. I mean you team can literally make you or break you, so if you disrespect your team they’re going to disrespect you. You’re going to lose loyalty and you do need your team to get things done.

Number nine: listen to your customers and your stakeholders. They’ll be the ones who will give you information that you may not as the project manager be able to receive. They get important information about the market their serving, their customers, their organization, different inputs that need to go in and continually be assessed and incorporated into your project.
Number ten: discern input. Sometimes coming in new to a project people may see you on your team as, “ah there’s the new project manager” and they may try to slip things by you or see how much you know. And they may provide you input into maybe estimates or statuses. So be able to discern what people are telling you and get a gut feel, if it seems accurate or not. If it doesn’t, again, go back and ask questions and seek more details.

Number eleven: leverage templates. If you don’t have any templates it’s important to create some. There are many sources for project management templates today. You can find them probably within your organization or definitely access different sources on the internet.

Also number twelve: prepare yourself. It’s important before everything you do is preparing yourself. Prepare yourself for team meetings or any kind of meetings you have, prepare yourself for any presentations you’re going to give, prepare yourself for the day. Prepare yourself for the project. Know what project is this, what is the business objective? Who are the team members, knowing anything specifically about the project? So you can never prepare too much. So prepare yourself for the project and the type of people in the organization you’re serving.

And number thirteen: plan. Just continue to plan, plan, plan, always plan what you’re doing instead of going in improve or unprepared for your project.

So those are some of the thirteen keys that someone gave me early on and I still keep those in hand today and I hope they’ll help you too with your projects coming in as a beginner in project management.

So if you’re a beginner starting into project management and you need any tips, tools or techniques or better yet project management software, then sign up for our software at ProjectManager.com.

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