Given the many roles played by a project manager, the broad range of skills needed, and the inherit challenges in successfully delivering a project, we need to find ways to accelerate the learning process. Two key ways to accelerate our learning: understanding the qualities of successful project managers and understanding the common mistakes made by project managers.
Successful project managers do not share personality types, appearances, or sizes, but they do share three important features.
1. They excel in at least two of the five key skill categories (Project Management Fundamentals, Business Management Skills, Technical Knowledge, Communication Skills, Leadership Skills) and are either "good enough" in the other categories or staff their teams to compensate for their deficiencies.
2. They avoid the "common" mistakes described in the next section.
3. They bring a mindset and approach to project management that is best characterized by one or more of the following qualities:
o 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.
o Savvy Understands people and the dynamics of the organization; navigates tricky politics; ability to quickly read and diffuse emotionally charged situations; thinks fast on the feet; builds relationships; leverages personal power for benefit of the project.
o "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.
o "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.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.