As a project manager you’ll face lots of challenges, and you’ll need to be in control and manage these. Delivering in the face of adversity can be difficult, so you need every bit of help you can get. How you behave can make a massive difference in getting this help.
- Admit your weaknesses – don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Deal with unresponsive people – walk and talk rather than mail and wail!
- Foster a team ethos – remember as a PM you’re not doing the actual work!
- Ask for clarifications… “I understand that..” or “my understanding is….”
- Share problems and solve these collaboratively.
- Acknowledge when you make a mistake – take accountability and be authentic.
- Share information with colleagues and co-workers.
- Show your gratitude. Frequently…
So what’s the most important words?
- ‘Gantt chart‘? Well having a project plan/schedule is important, but it doesn’t always need to be a Gantt chart.
- ‘Scope statement‘?. Having a document which clearly states what you are delivering is vital, but there are other documents which may describe the scope, and in more detail.
- ‘Critical path‘? Well personally I’m not a big fan (and I will describe why in a future blog post)
It’s none of these. In my view, the 2 most important words in project management are… ok you’ll just have to listen to the episode. No spoilers sorry!
Just remember you’re not doing the actual work, but your project team members are. Thank them regularly for their support and help, even if they haven’t done anything in particular. Thank your sponsor for their support. Thank your suppliers for engaging and keeping you informed. Thank your user community for providing feedback (even if you don’t always like the answers…)!
So many organisations don’t have this culture – you deliver a project and then move onto the next one without any word of acknowledgement. You don’t have to behave this way – a word of appreciation goes a huge way in helping your team to deliver.