Project management, like most professional careers, requires practitioners to have some personal attributes to improve their success rates. These attributes far outweigh any single tool or management fad with a catchy name. Here are five qualities needed for focusing your project management mindset and leading successful projects.
- Continuous learner. A solid understanding of both the art and science of project management is essential. Read, learn, and expand your knowledge of the critical principles and practice areas you need to apply to your projects. Then continue learning and developing your experience for the future. Learning about your organization and industry is also essential.
- Work well with people. Project managers need to be able to work with virtually anyone. And people are ultimately the root cause of project success or failure. The actions they take and the decisions they make contribute to and shape all outcomes. Understand how to communicate effectively with your team members and stakeholders throughout the project. Understand the dynamics of a team and serve as the glue that holds the members together.
- Flexible and positive. See issues and possible changes as learning opportunities rather than burdens. Identify the impacts, make sound recommendations, and let your client or project sponsor decide the way forward. You may need to incorporate new methodologies and new thinking on the fly. Remember: innovation is often an outcome of successful project management.
- Selective. Know how to select great team members. Know how to choose appropriate tools and templates for improving the implementation and planning of projects. Be careful about how you use your time. Develop critical thinking and decision-making skills to support your selectivity.
- Detail-oriented and organized. Projects have many moving parts and demands on your attention. If you are not detail-oriented and organized, many of these parts are quickly forgotten and out of control. Keep a project notebook or diary and take notes rather than try to remember everything.
Want to learn more about how to integrate these practices into a project methodology? Check out our Micro Guide to the PROJECT Methodology.
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