A Correlation


After completing my project management course at DePaul, the dots began to connect. The course has created a well round view of what goes into managing a project. The various tools, skills, and resources necessary to being a successful project manager. From estimating project cost and timelines, managing risk, to scheduling resources and cost, this course has taken me from an unclear idea of what project management is to a more refine idea of what a project manager does. The experiences I have encountered while working on our group project and the individual interview helped immensely define and illustrate the responsibilities of a project manager.

Furthermore, after reading the article “Keeping Tabs on Projects,” I have drawn similarities to my experience in the group project and to Kevin Wood’s experiences (the person I interviewed) as a project manager. Projects have a lot of moving parts as I have discovered in our teams experience. I would imagine at a company, one might even have multiple projects going on simultaneously. To successfully run a project, being able to keep tabs on every aspect of the project is vital. In my experience with my group we did this extensively through emails, meetings, formal reports for class, and informal conversations over the phone/texting. In the interview with Kevin, this was one of the topics we discussed in-depth. He mentioned some days he only spends reporting on various aspects of his project, whether its to his supervisor or his client.

“Keeping Tabs on Projects” discusses implementing a systematic way to keep tabs on everything without having to dig through emails and notepads. My group did this by creating a workflow chart. Its important to keep upper management informed along the way. By doing so, it can make the project easier with them as far as support and proper resource implementation.

In the article it discusses that in the beginning of the project its important to identify the roles every player will be responsible for. By identifying those individuals and what roles they each will play, the project manager will understand what information they will need for further execution. By keeping tabs on the individual deliverables, it allows the project manager and the group to help identify problems and potential roadblocks. In my groups experience, I was responsible for finding potential locations for our event. By getting the appropriate information to my group early on, we were able to make a sound decision on where our event would best benefit our cause.


Good versus Great

My experience to project management is minimal; and the actual idea seems slightly ambiguous. According to PMI.org, it can be defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. To some degree the idea of PM has been informal, and as of recent (mid 20th century) has it began to emerge as a distinct profession. In an article I found on liquidplanner.com “Good to Great: How to be the best Project Manager” it discusses several areas of topic on how to be more successful.

The first point compares a Good Project Managers actions versus a Great Project Managers actions.

•A Good Project Manager simple takes care of scheduling, communication issues, and production.

•A Great Project Manager is more deeply involved in building the skills of team members. They are also more involved in the tactical execution of the strategic vision of the project.

Lessons to take away from this are that Great Project Managers are more adaptive. They know how to bring the best out from their team. They know when to encourage rather than push.

A second point that the article highlights is the mapping of the project.

•A Good Project Manager will try to stay on task

•A Great Project Manager knows that the track will have unexpected turns and can created real-time solutions.

Lessons to take away are that aside from the top priority of helping customers/products reach success; Great Project Managers are aware that the administrative details of their projects have a higher purpose. Taking the time to look up from the projects plans and schedulers to consider the long-range, strategic outlook.

One of the more important points that the article alludes to is the communication abilities of a good and great Project manager.

•Good Project Managers hire talented teams

•Great Project Managers know their team at hand and know how to utilize each person’s skills at the correct time.

The lesson to take away here is that a great Project Manager will know how to use the talents of each team member on his or her team. Knowing how to get everyone on board with the projects strategic vision will bring out the best work. Effective communication is a key attribute to a Great Project Manager.

These are all key areas that I agree make a Great Project manager. However, I think to get to great you have to be good. You talk with people and you ask how they got into this profession, and often times it seems as if they fell into the position. I think these people start in smaller roles with less responsibilities and take the initiative on certain tasks that may demonstrate or exemplify these characteristics of a good project manager type role.