The Professional Approach To Managing Projects Successfully

The Professional Approach To Managing Projects Successfully

There is a saying that ‘good leaders are hard to find but Great Project Managers are rarer still.’ This simply implies that managing projects effectively requires a certain level of skill and expertise that not all project managers possess. 

We can all agree that Project Management is not rocket science but it is also not a natural skill set either and many Project Managers struggle on projects not because of a lack of fundamental knowledge or experience of managing projects but of reasons this article seeks to highlight. 

According to a global survey in 2017 “Pulse of the Profession” by Project Management Institute (PMI), organizations are wasting $97 million for every $1billion invested due to poor project performance. This survey projects a 20% decline from the previous year’s survey, and hence, suggests an overwhelming ratio at which projects still continue to fail.

What we can deduce from this is, there is a market saturated with individuals and indeed project managers who are truly ‘struggling’ when it comes to managing organizational projects. 

I guess it would be easier if there were a magic wand that you could wave in the air, and it would make all your projects better but that can only happen in Hogwarts and we are a couple of Harry Potter movies away from that reality.

The solution therefore to the challenge of poor project performance, is not a mere lackadaisical attitude to Project management, but Great Project Management. The question now is, what exactly measures up as Great Project Management, and how does it contribute to project success?

 

What Is Project Management?

Knowing what Project Management means, and who a Project Manager is is pertinent to understanding the idea of Great Project Management.

Project Management according to Project Management Institute (PMI), ‘is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.’

Essentially, what this is saying is that Project Management is about addressing the needs, concerns, and stakeholder expectations accomplished by applying applicable processes and resources. It is simply about leading a change.

The Project Manager in this regard is the change agent. The one pulling the strings. Like an orchestra leader, the Project Manager is putting all the pieces together and ensuring that everyone on the team knows what they are supposed to be doing. Kind of like a choir coordinator really.

From a Great Project Management perspective, part of the reason for the low number of successes in project performance is because most individuals managing projects aren’t adapting the relevant project management processes to their unique business environment. The textbook knowledge of the three project domains, the various tasks within the domains, and the enablers do not guarantee success in a project but rather the strategic application of the guide principles on a case per case within the project.

 

Great Project Management

Great Project Management caters to this aspect because it is not just a technical skill. It has to do with some of the competencies as an individual, as a leader, or as a person. More importantly, the technical know-how and expertise of a great project manager are made valid by certification. This is critical so that there is no doubt about the competency of the individual, knowing that the projects they oversee are in safe and reliable hands.

At this juncture, having mentioned Great Project Management a couple of times, let us now outline the key character traits that identify the Project Manager as a high-performing professional and a beacon of successful projects.

 

What Makes a Great Project Manager:

 

Having already established the fact that Project Management is not a natural skill set, a great Project manager is not one who would claim to know it all. If you are new to project management, take courses that will guide you on the fundamentals of project management. Even more so, get your PMP designation because certification shines the light on you and opens you up to various opportunities as the PMP certification remains the most prestigious within the project management space.

 

  • Good Psychological Orientation

The ability to understand how teams work is really important in this aspect. This is because the key to great project management is not just about executing tasks, but about learning how to motivate people, understanding the fundamentals of psychology and the way we think as humans. This is critical not only from a standpoint of motivation but also for empowerment.

 

  • Effective Communication Skills

This is perhaps the most critical skill in project management as it is considered to play a very important role in managing projects, teams, and other stakeholders. You cannot over-communicate on a project and if you are going to be a great project manager, you must always find a way to communicate as much as possible.

 

Winding Up

In retrospect, project management has taken on a new meaning since 2020 and has moved from just being able to execute projects on time and on budget, but also being a strategic business partner fully vested in organization success irrespective of obstacles or setbacks.

This is what makes a truly great project manager as one who is able to go above and beyond, regardless of how complex a project can become at any time until success is eventually realized.

The Project Manager role in recent times is considered to be one of the most in-demand overall, and here at BNET Learning we do not just want to make you a good project manager, but an exceptional Project Management Professional with a portfolio of successful projects.

 

Take charge of your career. Start your training with us today and ace your PMP certification exam in no time with flying colors.

Contact the BNET Learning team at info@bnetlearning.com or call 08074429193 for more information.

 

Let us know what you think about this article in the comment section….

 

John Oghota

October 8th, 2021

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