10 ways to succeed as a world class project manager

I always think that great project managers are not born they evolve. For many, the start to this illustrious career is often haphazard. Careers start with a ‘day job’ exposure to projects comes through either secondment or finding themselves given a particular project to work on as either a full time or additional activity. As expertise (and hopefully success) grows many find themselves moving away from their initial roles to one of project management developing their toolset through certifications and experience.

Most businesses will run projects at some time or another. Whether this is developing a new product through to deploying a new IT system, projects are commonplace. To improve the chances of success, businesses will usually recognize the importance of resources to manage and execute these activities and rely on either internal resources or external consultants. Given the recognition that project management gets as a discipline its unsurprising then that there are a significant quantity of project managers within the marketplace, but all project managers are not created equal.

So what makes a truly great project manager? The obvious answer is those project managers that have are successful. Success is often defined in project terms at delivering to schedule, cost and quality but as with anything it’s not the destination we need to consider its the journey – how its achieved and there are a significant number of hard and soft skills that a project manager needs to be adept at in order to be termed a success.

These days there are a number of certified bodies which offer through qualifications (Prince 2 for example) a sound foundation on which to build your project management pedigree however, simply knowing the mechanics of the trade is not usually enough.

So what are those hidden, secret, skills that make the difference? The fact is most of them are not that secret – a lot are common sense and most require resolute determination in sticking to the methods to get them to work. You need to ingrain most in the way you execute your role every day. The list below is not exhaustive but gives you a good reference for what you need to be looking at to single yourself out from the rest of the pack

1/ Be laser focused on Business Objectives
2/ Keep it simple Stupid
3/ Master Communication
4/ Learn to facilitate
5/ Confidence
6/ Excel at multi-tasking
7/ Manage change
8/ Be political
9/ Encourage critisim
10/ See failure as an educational tool

Click here for 10 ways to succeed as a world class project manager – part two

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