Managing a project can be like walking a tightrope. It is always a balancing act but when done right, it will ensure the success of any project.
In our experience:
- Project Management requires a blend of personal style, unique skills and experience.
- Project Management isn’t just about how much study you have done or how many courses you have completed.
- Project Management is about understanding people and how to work effectively with all your stakeholders to achieve the desired outcome.
The following 3 core capabilities are extremely powerful and will underpin any successful project.
A true leader knows they need to surround themselves with the very best people. Your team will be looking to you to provide the framework and environment that will give them a sense of confidence that the project will be a success. Core strengths and weaknesses of your team members and ensuring they are in the right roles is critical to managing your team effectively and developing their skills.
You may also need to find yourself an experienced mentor. Someone who has done what you are about to do many times before and who will be your sounding board throughout the project. Your mentor may be someone in your own company or an external consultant who you can call on to guide you through the difficult decisions.
Ownership is about taking full responsibility for the effective planning of resources and tasks throughout the various stages of the project. It requires courage and commitment to see any project through to the end – no excuses.
A great leader is a highly effective communicator with a strong appreciation for the importance of change management. Managing the expectations of your senior executives and balancing this with the goals for your project team is as imperative as controlling your scope and budget.
Successful projects require strong emphasis on the people. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to take the team on the journey of change.
- Start by setting up your project for success. Eg. Strong process and executive engagement.
- Spend time planning the details and involving all stakeholders.
- Ensure you have a “No Surprises Policy” – manage expectations with milestones at short intervals to demonstrate delivery and build confidence with your team and your clients.
“CMC’s Consultants all have exceptional communication and leadership skills. Their flexibility, dedication, hard work and creative solutions assisted us in meeting our aggressive implementation schedules. Their ability to adapt to our approach and to a diverse team of individuals and personalities all contributed to the success of our projects”
David McBeth, Manager PMO – Staples (previously Corporate Express)