Being a project manager is a lot like being the captain of a ship. You're in charge of efficiently navigating a vessel of ideas, strategies and goals, along with your crew, to a final destination by a specific deadline. You have to manage risks and fight off pirates (other departments trying to steal your resources or clients changing the parameters) while keeping your mates from falling off the side of the boat and becoming shark bait (take measures to keep your team from slipping up mentally or physically). You have to assign responsibilities on deck based on each individual's talents of trade. And you're really going to have to grab hold of the helm and safely steer through the storm when it comes. Because it will. The seas of the business world can be quite turbulent.
According to A Manager’s 7 Tips for a Successful Project, it all begins with preparation. You can't push off on a project before you have complete comprehension of every detail involved, what's expected and how everything will be measured. You have to make sure you have the budget and supplies required to survive. You should reach for the boundaries of what's possible, but be careful not to exceed them and strike an iceberg. And as essential as the planning is, the debriefing may be almost as important for future success. Once you finally hit land and are exchanging celebratory handshakes with your team, be reflective enough to evaluate how the trip could be improved next time you set sail. These tips are valuable for any sized project -- big or small, team-effort or individual. Master them and you will sail off into the sunset with your bounty.