Project Management - top tips for a professional and clients
by Andy Flagg, Publication Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2020
View Count: 322, Keywords: Project Management, PMP, Owners, Stakeholders, Reporting, Technology, Hashtags: #ProjectManagement #PMP #Owners #Stakeholders #Reporting #Technology
For nearly 30,000+ years, project management has been front and center to all sorts of innovation in terms of how resources are properly managed. It is not about the technology or tools or whatever to manage a project, its the maturity and skill a project manager brings to the party.
For example, the 7 Wonders of the World
, and more closely to home in the USA; the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, the First Transcontinental Railroad, World War II and D-Day, and all the way down to Reno Nevada's midtown street improvements and Nevada I-80 US 395 Spaghetti Bowl redesign. From the massively large projects spanning years to those just spanning a few months.
What are the key elements to project management and who really cares? Well, by the book these are the items:
2. time line
In reality, you have to add a few more things;
1. stakeholder confidence and where is the "real pain" that needs to be solved.
2. project management leader wisdom, experience, importantly, "pragmatism and skill"
3. political influences and unknowns that a PM knows how to navigate
4. resource scarcity
5. vendor and supplier risk management
each of these additional five items really drill down to how one can utilize a few PM tricks.
1. fast tracking
2. critical path
3. dashboards and reporting
4. know your numbers, set your metrics and goals; KPIs
5. be SMART with your people (specific, measurable, attainable, results oriented, time specific)
Regardless of the project type, subject, industry, these things matter. From the beginning and project kick off to the post mortem and completion and hand off. The reporting of the status, situation, and change management and flexibility of the organization to meet economic and world events does matter. Sometimes, folks who are in project management do not accommodate slippage and variances in the timeline.
One has to anticipate external and global influential factors. Look at COVID, look at the rise and fall of globalization, trade wars, tariff increases, supply chain delays, and more.
as a senior project manager of some 20+ years, regardless if you have a PM certificate or not, yeah whatever, most of the wisdom and trust in project success comes from experience, tools, and authority to get the job done and make the difficult look easy.
The right amount of information reporting at the right time and nudge, push and pull, and deliver a project on time, under budget and without killing everyone in the process.
Remember, the 95/5 rule I so often re-iterate to project stakeholders and teams. It still works. Remember, humans are human and have issues and we need everyone on deck when a project comes into play. Detractors and negative thoughts can be bad; and criticism is appropriate in the right forums in the right place, yet we don't want "yes men and women", we want actively engaged and positive thinkers and doers and project success fitness mentality in play.
Project management is all about critical thinking, appropriate temperament, strategic communication, tactical maneuvering, trust and worthiness, ethics and compliance, quality and control, and more.
Its not the tools you use to do the job, its how well do the tools work to fit the scenario. Technology can be good or bad, it depends on the leader and the scenario.
From Primavera P6 to Microsoft Project to Excel, a spreadsheet, to a notepad, pencil and paper, or Visio and a flow chart. Remember the one pager report is often better, faster and more precise to the leadership than a long drawn out presentation that everyone goes to sleep looking at. Depending on the meeting and audience, the steak is more important than the peas, and vice versa.
Note to self and peers in CXO positions I work with: even if someone has a PhD or the word "doctor" in their title does not mean they have great project management experience and can fill the role of a CXO position etc. I know because I worked on my PhD and stopped because critical thinking actually works - when your peers show no signs of positive leadership skills, wisdom and real world experience, and they are getting the degree just to have the piece of paper, then, wow, and I have worked for those with a PhD and not for long. I would say 20% of those I worked with had a working experience hands on approach with a PhD were awesome. The other 80% were *meh* so-so adequate for the job and the projects and priorities, mission and vision of the organization.
Those with work experience in leadership and management, successful business ownership, and more supersedes those with just the education, *ahem* remember, talk about the peter principle in play
A PMP certificate just like a PhD just means they went to school and got the certification and/or degree and one has to look at more in their background and toolkit. Look at the team leader's or subject matter expert's experiences, project success and failure rate, lessons learned, and then their credentials and references. Don't just look at their degree in communications and psychology. Project management is more than just that, it requires all 6 M's of Management Education, add a dash of the 80/20 rules, the Pareto analysis theorems, Standard Bell Curves, Statistics and Analytics, Reporting Methodology, Animal and Human Psychology, Root Cause Fish Bone Diagram Analysis expertise, Philosophy and the Human Factor, the Psychological Backbone and Dedication they have to get the job done aka Perseverance, and if they have a great reputation that precedes them into a conversation, board meeting, product launch, interview or staff meeting.
more to come...
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