What I leant as project manager?

Software industry is very huge and generally it has very small, on an average 5-8 years of life as a programmer or coder and then most of us are migrated to management positions like team leaders or project managers without realising what we are gaining and what we are losing.  Sometimes it is a dream to become project manager and other times we are just promoted as per our skills and company requirements.

Migration from a hard-core programmer to management is a very tough and challenging. Most of us end up messing with our career goals and lose confidence due to inability to be a successful manager. I want to give some basic things that I learnt while migrating to a manager which are as below:

  1. Take responsibilities of others work:
    Initially, it is very difficult to digest that we have to take responsibilities of other people’s bad work. It is always a question in mind “Why would I get punishment if that person did not work well?” But as a Manager you are responsible for your team productivity and it does not matter if one or many team members caused delay in project, for company management it’s your mistake and you have to bear.
  2. Know what others doing:    
    Earlier you used to concentrate on your work and never bothered much about other team member’s work. But now you have to know about each member what they are doing and how much they have worked all the time.
  3. You are the leader now:
    Now you are the leader of team and you are supposed to lead the team. You can’t let the team work as its own rather you are the source of guidelines for the team to follow.  You are the boss and they have to go as per your instructions. 
  4. Always be professional:
    Earlier you used to be personal with other team members and help them in their work un-officially. Now you have to take care everyone is doing and concentrating on what they are assigned and not wasting time with other team mates.
  5. Learn to say No:
    Saying No to your team members is very difficult to new managers but we have to learn to say no. One of your team member might want to go on leave or want to do some time wasting thing which can affect the project and overall team productivity and you have to say no in these situations.
  6. Be constructive contributor and earn respect:
    You are not only leader/guide of project but also a member of team and it is your moral responsibility to contribute in the project in every possible way. You can work on some small module and guide team on some technical aspect. This way your team members will see you as contributor and respect you for your efforts
  7. Be there until they get it:
    As a manager you are supposed to stand by your team side all the time. If they are staying for late to achieve any deadline or to fix any important major bug then you should stay there to help and guide them until they get it.
  8. Motivate and encourage:
    There will be times when your team will feel tired and demotivated. It is your responsibility to give new energy to your team by appreciating and applauses to encourage them to work hard. You can give break to entire team to get re-energised or distribute small gifts.
  9. No one is your best friend and no one is your worst enemy:
    There will be some members you don’t like personally and some members you are like friends. But as a manager it’s your duty to give equal respect and opportunities to every member of your team.
  10. Be a part of team not a king of kingdom:
    As a manager, you are not a king of any kingdom but you are one of the member of your team. Be a team player, understand their strengths and weaknesses. Share appreciation credits with your team and handle any negative environment with comfortable and positive feel.

Above are some of my key things I learnt as a manager and I hope it will help you too if you are a new manager.