Establishing your authority as a project manager

Regardless of the size of the project, you need to take control to lead it to success. This means you becoming both manager and leader of your project. As a project leader, you will need to command authority, take responsibility for guiding the project, be a reliable source of information about the project and an inspiration to the rest of the project team.  You will need to monitor and control the project from start to finish and utilise specific techniques and procedures whilst at the same time keeping stakeholders informed and involved. 

Three Factors For Project Success

To achieve success in project management, there are three key things that need to occur. They are:

  1. Authority- You need to know the authority you have been given for the different projects you manage. This can be achieved through giving stakeholders a clear project brief, management plan and definition report. Tips on how to do this can be found in most project management courses
  2. Accountability- This means to be answerable to your superior within that organisation in relations to the performance of one’s duties and in exercising one’s authority. 
  3. Responsibility- This is the duties, assignment and accountability of results which comes with being the designated person in the organisation.   

Leadership Styles

To manage and coordinate different projects with different people, different leadership styles and managements methods may need to be used. There are 3 types of leadership styles you can adopt. Here, we offer a brief look at what these are:

Leadership style 1 -Task orientated 

This style is about completing the project through concentrating on methods for assigning and organising work. It includes making decisions and evaluating performance. 

Leadership style 2- Employee oriented

This style is based on open communication and developing a relationship with team members.  It takes into account the needs of the subordinates.

Leadership style 3- Reward based 

This style links positive feedback and other rewards directly to performance and work accomplishments. This means that high levels of performance will occur and be maintained when rewarded. The main rewards would be promotion and pay but can also include encouragement, support and respect from the project manager. 

Using your skills appropriately

To enable a project’s success and make sure team members are able to carry out their responsibilities, project managers should:

  • Provide leadership and interpersonal skills between all project stakeholders. 
  • Provide good communication and feedback among stakeholders through the process.
  • Manage the project and assess its performance to measure if they are on schedule. 

To be a successful project manager, you will need to work with executives in your organisation to gain authority. This authority can then be used to achieve the success of any projects you undertake. If you as a project manager feel empowered and in control, you can happily accept accountability. To feel confident in this approach and develop your leadership skills you may want to look into project management training to ensure you have all the skill needed to build your authority within the industry.