First Step as a Project Manager: How to Start Your Journey Successfully

Adriana Girdler

Wondering how to kick off your role as a PM? Here’s the first step you need to take If you’re new to project management, you’ve …

Wondering how to kick off your role as a PM? Here’s the first step you need to take

If you’re new to project management, you’ve got to start your role off on the right foot. With starting a new role comes the nerves, the excitement, and maybe a little bit of fear. Being as prepared as possible will help you start your project management journey with professionalism and success.

If you’re new to project management, it’s your lucky day, because I’m handing you everything you need to know so that you can be prepared in ADVANCE and skip the mistakes in as many areas as possible. I’ve compiled a list of things I wish an experienced project manager had told me when I started out in my career.

  1. Be an intentional project manager

It’s exciting! It’s supposed to be. And you’re probably a little nervous. Don’t let those nerves cloud your mind! As you start your project, don’t just do for the sake of doing. Don’t just complete tasks because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do. There needs to be intention in everything. Sometimes it’s best for you to be slow first, to really figure it out and do things right, so that you can excel later.

  1. Study the players

Project management has everything to do with working with PEOPLE. So, get to know who you’re dealing with. Get to know the project sponsors, steering committee, and team members. Who are they? What are they about? What is their experience? Who might bring politics? Who’s quiet? Who’s enthusiastic?

Knowing and understanding the people you’ll be working with allows you to put a strategic plan together on how to address them individually and work with them effectively throughout the project.

  1. Get to know your project

At a glance, you might think this is a pretty obvious tip. But I’m not talking about just knowing the scope of the project. I’m talking about truly asking yourself the question, “Why are you doing this project?”

Were you told the business case behind the project? If you’re lucky, you were. But usually, that’s not the case. So, do your research, understand all the background information so that when things pop up, you can give people direction on the bigger picture. Understanding the project from the get-go will be instrumental to the project’s success.

Additional First Steps

I’ve got 3 more key first steps for you to take as a project manager. But why write them here when I’ve already put them into a short (but detailed) video for you? Join me on YouTube for the rest of these tips. We’ll talk about setting a vision for your project, how to stay on top of everything, and how to build a circle of trust on every project.

I really hope that you found this helpful – and if you did, it would mean so much to me if you would share it on your social media.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


Thanks For Sharing!

Photo of author

Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

SLAY Project Management

Online Course

5 Sections and 24 step-by-step HOW TO Videos! The only 5-hour on-line course that teaches you the PRACTICAL side of project management. This course will guide you step-by-step on HOW to successfully run a project and provides you with all the templates and tips you need to be successful.

Fab 5 Fundamentals

Free Training

Are you striving for successful projects, but get overwhelmed figuring out what elements of project management to focus on for the best results? In the Fab Five Fundamentals of Project Management, you’ll learn the five things you need to do on EVERY project to bring it to success.

Why Projects Fail?

Free Download

If you're new to projects or need a refresher, here's a guide of all the things I learned during my journey. Project success is about knowing how to navigate and stay clear of roadblocks, issues and problems. Understand the top 10 reasons why projects fail and how to avoid them.

Interested In Working Together?

We are business productivity experts. Contact us to learn how we can help your business become more efficient and increase profitability.

Join Our Newsletter

Join over 50,000 subscribers. Get the latest and the best in project management information delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow Us