The Secret of Successful Project Management

by | Feb 22, 2017 | Change Management, Leadership, Project Management | 0 comments

All business leaders know how critical managing projects successfully is to their company’s growth. We have a little secret about projects that will help make them simple for you to lead.

“Challenging” summarizes project management well. There is the theory, along with the day-to-day realities of project management. Projects require connectivity, which requires being seen and accepted. Validation of what you’re already doing can be powerful – and we’re here to validate you!

“There is just one project in life and we all get a turn on it.”

Listening to students and/or clients from every continent except Antarctica (so far), there is a common theme in the answers to the question, “What makes your projects so challenging?” It breaks down to the following:

  • Lack of clear requirements
  • Being pushed to start, regardless
  • Arbitrary end date
  • Arbitrary budget
  • Dictated resource pool comprising too few resources of adequate skill
  • Multitasking

The response is amazingly consistent and is independent of profession, field of study, market, etc.  Human nature is the same everywhere. All that differs is the wrapper (culture). Don’t get me wrong, that wrapper can be quite significant. The point is – once the effort is made to get beneath it, you’ll always find the same thing, a human being.

The Path

So, how does a project manager get the job done? The answer is simple: “Stick to the principles.” Simple is not the same as easy. That simple path is grounded in the 9 areas of project management.

According to PMI® there are 9 areas of project management:

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Budget
  • Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Quality
  • Risk
  • Integration

By sticking to these principles and flexing them as called for in a given situation, the odds of finding a path to success go up accordingly.

To find out how well you’re currently managing your projects and what it will take to lead your team to project success, TAKE THE CHAOS QUIZ.

A Key to Success

The word “challenging” opened this blog. To some extent, it is politically correct. “Nightmarish” might be a better word when you get down to it. How to enjoy your business, stay sane and avoid project nightmares is the quest. The secret is completing a simple sentence:

If everything were okay I would see ________________.

A few things stand out with that statement:

  • It is an inquiry rather than a command. Why is that important? Leaders do better when asking more questions and giving fewer commands.
  • It is recursive. That one inquiry can be asked over-and-over as the breadth and depth of a project are explored.
  • It applies to both politics and technology. The stakeholder map should map clearly and correctly into the technological map of the project.
  • Using that statement promotes gap analysis (“the comparison of actual performance with potential or desired performance”), which is at the core of project management.

Now that you know the secret to simple project management,TAKE THE CHAOS QUIZ to find out how close you are to your “Everything is OK” scenario.