Project Management “Secrets”


I found this article to be on point with what we discussed during on first Saturday class and will be key to keep in mind for our field project. The article suggests nine “secrets” to project management success. “Secrets” is in quotes, as I don’t believe they are secrets per say, but more guidelines to flow when undertaking a project.


Many of these guidelines are what the class came up with when the professor asked, “What are factors of the successful project teams?” For example, they mention having the full details of the project before starting, having the correct team (and size) in place, being clear on roles and responsibilities, and having goals set. While the article refers to IT projects, the guidelines can be useful to many different types of projects.


I found a few extra pieces of knowledge woven into this article that I had not strongly considered before. First, is to have milestone goals along the project. In my career, I have worked with such short time frame projects, usually two months to four months, that we do not have milestones. Not only is it important to have milestone throughout the project, but to reward employees when the milestones are reached. The reward and appreciation should be sincere and motivational.


I know one of the categories I have to personally work on is micromanaging. Currently, I am leading a project for my work team and I find that my natural instinct is to tell the team now how to do their job. The article points out that team members should feel empowered to do their work without the project manager micromanaging. It will be key for me to have regular touch bases with my team members without overwhelming them.


Additionally, as we all know too well, e-mails on a project can be vast you have the treads of dialogue. Scrolling through e-mails is a time waster and can hinder progress. The article suggests using a digital project management application to keep track of all the important information. These applications can create tasks lists, serve as a virtual filling cabinet, and foster a discussion board.


Already with our group project we have had a ton of e-mails that gets stuck in treads. It is important to keep e-mail subject headers on point to what is contained in the e-mail. We have also started putting key information into a shared Google document in order to find easily.


Lastly, another pitfall that I tend to fall into is not leaving enough time in the project timeline for changes. Often management wants to tweak a portion of the project and if you do not have time built in for changes you may fall behind.


Are there any other guidelines the class would add to the nine in the list the article points out?

7 thoughts on “Project Management “Secrets”

  1. Thank you for finding and sharing this article. I find it very interesting and informative. The author describes 9 main factors of the successful project in a condensed, but “right to the point” format. I agree that project management might seem as easy, simple and straightforward process: establish a deadline, set budget, assign people and execute. However, even though there are might be all the tools, mechanics and techniques in place, the process execution led by project manager plays the most important role. Usually the project manager doesn’t get to select the project – he/she gets assigned to it. So this is where PM’s people’s skills come into play – ability to select the right team and motivate the team members, set expectations, be clear about responsibilities, don’t micromanage and keep communication at the right level.

  2. This was an entertaining article! I especially enjoy the pizza comparison with, ensuring that teams are no larger than 6-10 people. To me, one of the most interesting points in the article was the caution about project status meetings and suggestion to always keep them short. I’ve worked in a number of location where status meeting have almost become groupthink sessions, to the detriment of the overall project goals – and the schedules of those involved. Long meeting inevitably result in distractions, lost focus, and an overall sense of annoyance. The suggestion of 90 seconds for updates is something I’ll be trying out in a meeting this week!

  3. I found the article very interesting and instructive and I completely agree that the author that the project management is rarely straightforward. Especially when the team members do not know in advance of what is expected from them and what exactly they are supposed to deliver. This can create confusion among the team members and as a result it can change the scope of the project. All the nine secrets mentioned in the article are very important and should be adopted in order to ensure that the project is successful. As you mentioned in your post, I also liked the article’s suggestion of using a digital project management application to keep track of all the important information. In past, I have also faced similar problems when working on project. It is so hard to keep track of all the information when there so many emails under same subject from different team members. Our team is currently using various digital management applications which helps us organize the information and allocate tasks appropriately. This has been so far very useful to us and made it incredibly easy for us to organize information and keep track of tasks assigned to team members.

  4. Great post and very interesting article. One of the best parts about the article was how closely it reflected the same experiences that we discussed week one of class when Damian, Jeff, and Ginger came to speak to us. One of the most important tips for me would be setting the milestones. It is easy to lose track of how the project is going when you have high-end, long off goals. Setting useful milestones and celebrating their completion is a great way to keep the project on track and keep the team motivated.

  5. Thank you for supplying this article.

    This will provide a lot of insight and information about project management. the ideas are strong to create a strong environment for leadership, development of employees under you, imploring a good management structure to help create an environment for success. I believe this is great post for a general overview for a project manager to support his team.

    Thank you again for the post!

  6. Thank you for sharing this article- I really enjoyed it and liked how it reinforced what we discussed week 1 of class. I had many takeaways, but the main one that stuck out to me was in regards to milestones. I also work on a lot of short term projects and many times I get caught up in the final deadline approaching and forget to have those mini milestones which can act as a source of group empowerment when they’re reached on time. Also, just to think that a group may have all of the right intentions and plans set up, but the importance of having the right PM in place to lead those plans is absolutely crucial.

  7. This was a great simple article that echoed what we learned in the class. I found two interesting bullet points in this article: 1) Don’t Micromanage and 2) Hold regular meetings, but keep them short. These two go hand-in-hand, because if we have too many meetings then it’s considered micromanaging. Over the years, I learned to balance the number of meetings to ask for status. I realized that my team is more productive when I let them do their task and let them feel like they have ownership over their tasks. Most employees do come to the management when they are not able to complete their jobs or when they have questions. By asking for status report each week is especially necessary when the project manager is new to the team or when he/she feels like they are not getting updates from their team members.

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