Are you a relatively new project manager who wants to expand their skillset?

As projects become more complex and larger in scope, it can feel like you’re outgrowing some of the simplified tools and tactics you started with.

Here’s how you can mange projects and deadlines more effectively.

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When managing any project, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to be optimal.

It’s important to take a look at the project and consider which management methodology will fit.

Defining your timeline is a perfect place to start when doing larger-scale projects, such as a website redesign or working with other vendors.

  • Deciding how firm or flexible your timeline can be will guide the rest of your management approach.

Here’s a summary of two different project management methodologies (depending on the rigidity of your timeline) that will help you get the ball rolling.


1) The “Waterfall” Approach

The waterfall methodology is a linear, phased approach to project management.

It’s a traditional approach that would be suitable for your team if the project you’re working on is timeline-driven with a very defined scope and budget.

In this case, you will have to sit down with your team to establish the project’s end goal and a firm timeline to follow.

From there, you can work backwards to establish the necessary steps everyone must take to meet that deadline. It’s important to have a clear, sequential plan toward your end goal so that everyone can stay synchronized and productive.


2) The “Agile” Approach

Conversely, you can take an agile approach if the project scope and timeline is more ambiguous.

In this case, your team will be relying on smaller deliverables submitted on a weekly or monthly basis – for example – to make progress more quickly.

Team members and stakeholders involved with the project will be communicating and collaborating much more frequently with this approach. Agile allows for quick adjustments and iterations to the overall strategy as you go.


  • Waterfall approach: Good if you have a single, all-encompassing end goal the entire team is working towards with a firm deadline and clearly defined timeline.
  • Agile approach: Good if your timeline is less certain and you have smaller goals you want to hit to get updated results and prompt feedback.


Other factors to consider

In addition to your timeline and overall goal, choosing which project management approach is going to be influenced by the nature of the:

  • project itself
  • stakeholders involved, and
  • allocated budget.

Once you’ve defined those variables, you’ll be better equipped to choose the methodology that will help your team execute effectively.


Know when to ask for help

Sometimes you will run into projects that involve much more:

  • stakeholder coordination
  • larger budgets
  • longer timeframes, and
  • external vendor collaboration.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – that’s completely normal.


“Project managers have years of experience handling these challenges.”


Project managers have years of experience handling these challenges and are equipped with many more processes, methodologies, and tools that you don’t have access to yet.

If you find that the projects you’re dealing with are just too big, consider bringing in an agency-side project manager to help.

Being honest about this with your boss will prevent projects from getting off track, and will give you an opportunity to learn more about project management from an expert in the field.