Get paid like the big guys, with respect.
It’s like having your own AR department, without the payroll expense.
Famously, leadership author and former Navy Seal Jocko Willink, has said, “There are no bad teams, just bad leaders.” If that’s true, and we believe it is, a project manager is the key component to any successful project.
But project management is difficult, especially in a restoration industry that is dealing with the pressures of budget, time and then also navigating relationships with insurance adjusters. In restoration, there are many aspects at work that add complications.
Better project management comes from good ideas and good strategies, allow us to offer a few.
To be a good Restoration Project Manager you must first be good at communication. At the end of the day, everything you do as a project manager boils down to communication. If you communicate well, the project sails smoothly. If you communicate poorly, well, things go poorly.
It is surprising at times to see how poorly people communicate: explaining tasks, defining problems or even the simple task of following up with people.
A good project manager aims to communicate once. He or she says what they mean and they are precise with their language. They think before they speak so that when they speak, their words will be listened to.
They also work to be reliable in communication. If someone asks them a question, the questioner isn’t worried whether they’ll get a response, they know they will. And so, a good project manager creates space in the day to follow-up with pending conversations. They check their email, they check their text messages, and they respond appropriately.
To be good at Restoration Project Management you also need to frame your situations properly. At times situations can feel heavy and overwhelming. Perhaps these situations lack clarity and a next step is difficult to see. In these moments you need to gain perspective and break your current predicament into smaller tasks.
Working backward is a good strategy to help in these moments, from completed project to current situation.
There was a funny illustration of this practice in an episode of The Office. In the Office episode Dunder Mifflin — the fictitious company of the show — is on the verge of bankruptcy, Michael Scott (the beloved and fanciful Manager of the office) claims to have a 45 day plan to rescue the company. In a subsequent scene he tosses a football and begins, “day 45 company saved… now you go, day 44.”
It was a funny scene with a mis-applied practice, but it did highlight a healthy strategy project managers can employ: understand the outcome you want, work backwards to understand the steps on how to achieve it.
Another good idea for Restoration Project Management is learning how to rightly work with and understand your team.
A Google study recently came out that connected high performance teams with safe environments. The idea is, the safer an environment is for a team, the better they will perform.
And safeness is explicitly tied to them feeling safe to exercise their gifts without negative judgement and condemnation.
Do you want a healthy team? Give them the space to fail, let them fail and then encourage them to continue on.