This post will deal with the key capabilities that allow you to achieve the success and recognition you are seeking at your job.
All necessary skills to achieve it, both technical and interpersonal, may be grouped into 4 major pillars, management, leadership, communication and organization:
1. Management: you are expected to master the key elements of project management. You are also expected to take charge, focus on the objectives that have been set, establish the internal operating rules (methodology, tools, etc.), create a planning in keeping with both time and resource constraints –and also with responsibilities–, respond to potential changes and carry out a continuous monitoring. As you know, “projects don’t get managed by themselves”
2. Leadership: a project manager is also a team leader, so this is an essential quality. To be a leader, you must demonstrate some essential qualities:
- Experience in leading and implementing projects and expertise in managing them with vision of future and anticipating what might happen during development.
- Empathy with the team and its needs. Don’t hesitate, be honest with the team, tell them what you expect from them, both as a collective and as individuals, and ask them what they need from you.
- Willingness to defend the interests of the team against other stakeholders provided they don’t collide with those linked to the project.
- Ability to make decisions when problems arise to the extend that they don’t interfere with the responsibilities of others.
- Passion for what you do. If you are unable to feel and convey a passion for what you, do not expect to find it in the team.
The team is the key to the success of a project, and that’s why a true leader has important advantages to become a good project manager.
3. Communication: you don’t have only to be good at what you do, but also look like you are. That’s why you must become a great communicator if you want your work to be well regarded among all involved in the project. Be clear and precise when providing information to them. You must master oral and written communication, thus you will need different skills depending on the type of project you participate in. It is also important to have your own style. There are no silver bullets to achieve this, but with few exceptions, the following piece of advice can be useful to you: think about yourself identify your strengths and weaknesses and choose the style of communication that best suits you and the project itself.
4. Organization: it is often confused with management, however, although related, they aren’t the same. If you want to be a good organizer, you will have to learn to organize and process information (e.g. the project documentation) efficiently, streamline the time that is spent in administrative tasks, prepare and run effective meetings, etc. All this should be aimed at improving your personal productivity and the productivity of each one of the project’s members. An orderly, flexible organization will save you time, and you must bear in mind that, in a project, “time is money”. In addition to that, if the team members feel that they are productive in their daily work, they will be more motivated and involved in the project.
As you can see, this position is not within everybody’s reach. It plays a key role inthe success of a project and requires a comprehensive professional profile, both experienced and qualified. The challenge is ambitious, but if it were easy it wouldn’t be so much fun, would it?
Up With Your Projects!