In my course and readings about successful project managers I have found that successful projects and project managers share some commonalities that lead to their accomplishments.
First of all, I would like to start about what leaders in project management thought defined project management, I will start with a very influential project management school of thinking “IBM”. IBM defines project management as managing the interrelationship between 3 vital factors in each project and the importance to achieve the ideal balance between all 3 critical factors which are Project Scope, Budget and Time which is commonly referred to by project management professionals PMP’s as the project triangle.
Now, considering the above factors it’s not easy to be able to manage those 3 angels in projects hence, they involve numerous subdivisions to keep track. I will mention those below with the top points that I found best project managers stress on:
- Planning: common mistakes that caused a lot of projects to fail is that they rushed to start working on the project and went to fast through the planning process. Always give planning the bigger chunk of your time.
- Time estimation: most valuable take home lesson for me from this project management course and readings about the subject is that time is unforgiving. You can go overboard with the cost and still have a project but when the deadline is due and you have no complete project the cost overboard will be a breeze compare to not having delivered a project at all.
- Communication: a very vital skill to have as project managers hence, ideas and dreams “final project” in your mind are defiantly not similar across your team members. Try to be very clear!
- Coordination: define requirements to each individual and be very clear on delegating responsibilities. Successful project managers have an eye for identifying talents and skills in their team members
- Tracking: this point I found that there was a lot of stress on by my studies in class and readings. The importance to keep check points alongside the project “success points” is crucial for success of the project!! Assessing each stage and the timeline within a project is one of the most important duties of the project manager.
- Risk assessment & mitigations: even with the an excellent plan things can go wrong, predicting problems and obstacles is indispensable skill for PM’s while identifying risks is on one side, on the other side providing solutions to those problems forecasted is of the same weight of importance. An important lesson here is to assign a devil’s advocate in your team J
- Reporting: understand who your customer is! All projects have an owner or a requester, as a project manager you will have to establish a reporting line between the project developments and your customer. An important lesson here is to establish a good relationship with your customer, after all they are the ones paying your bills 😉
Questions that inspire the thought:
- Is there an optimal mix in the project triangle? How could we measure it?
- Which is most important from the three project angles?
References and sources: