More Than Managing

The process of leading a project is more than managing the project. The process of leading a project entails the approach utilized to guide the people involved (team, stakeholders, organization) toward the accomplishment of the project's objectives. This process involves your mindset and leverages key skills like dedication, interpersonal, adaptability, and customer-orientation. If we look back at Chapter 2, many of the roles performed by a project manager involve leadership, including

  • Planner Ensures the project is defined properly and completely for success, all stakeholders are engaged, work effort approach is determined, and processes are in place to properly execute and control the project.
  • "Point Man" Serves as the central point of contact for all oral and written project communications to key stakeholders.
  • Facilitator Ensures that stakeholders and team members from different perspectives understand each other and work together to accomplish the project goals.
  • Aligner Gains agreement from the stakeholders on project definition, success criteria, and approach; manages stakeholder expectations throughout the project while managing the competing demands of time, cost, and quality; gains agreement on resource decisions and issue resolution action steps.
  • Problem-Solver Utilizes root-cause analysis process experience, prior project experiences, and technical knowledge to resolve unforeseen technical issues and to take any necessary corrective actions.
  • "The Umbrella" Works to shield the project team from the politics and "noise" surrounding the project, so they can stay focused and productive.
  • Coach Determines and communicates the role each team member plays and the importance of that role to the project success, finds ways to motivate each team member, looks for ways to improve the skills of each team member, and provides constructive and timely feedback on individual performances.
  • Salesman This role is focused on "selling" the benefits of the project to the organization, serving as a "change agent," and inspiring team members to meet project goals and overcome project challenges.

In addition, many of the qualities of successful project managers we described in Chapter 2 have strong leadership elements too, including

  • Takes Ownership Takes responsibility and accountability for the project; leads by example; brings energy and drive to the project; without this attitude, all the skills and techniques in the world will only get you so far.
  • Savvy Understands people and the dynamics of the organization, navigates tricky politics; ability to quickly read emotionally charged situations, thinks fast on the feet, builds relationships, leverages personal power for benefit of the project.
  • "Intensity with a Smile" Balances an assertive, resilient, tenacious, results-oriented focus with a style that makes people want to help; consistently follows up on everything and their resolutions without "annoying" everyone.
  • "Eye of the Storm" Demonstrates ability to be the calm "eye" of the project "hurricane"; high tolerance for ambiguity; takes the heat from key stakeholders (CxOs, business managers and project team); exhibits a calm, confident aura when others are showing signs of issue or project stress.
  • Strong customer-service orientation Demonstrates ability to see each stakeholder's perspective, ability to provide "voice" of all key stakeholders (especially the sponsor) to the project team, strong facilitation and collaboration skills, excellent "active" listening skills.
  • "People-focused" Understands that methodology, process, and tools are important, but without quality "people" it's very difficult to complete a project successfully. Acts ethically; protects his team; takes teaching approach.
  • Always keeps "eye on the ball" Stays focused on the project goals and objectives. There are many ways to accomplish a given objective. Especially important to remember when "things" don't go as planned.
  • "Controlled passion" Balances "passion" for completing the project objectives with a healthy "detached" perspective. This allows him/her to make better decisions, to continue to see all points of view, and to better anticipate risks.
  • "Context" understanding Understands the "context" of the projectthe priority that your project has among the organization's portfolio of projects and how it aligns with the overall goals of the organization.
  • "Looking for trouble" Constantly looking and listening for potential risks, issues, or obstacles; confronts doubt head-on; deals with disgruntled users right away; understands that most of these situations are "opportunities" and can be resolved up-front before they become full-scale crisis points.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169 © 2008-2020.
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