Project Managers often have to function without formal authority over their teams with in the organisation. They are sometimes refereed to as the “King” but in actual sense they do not posses any legitimate control in the organisation. Project Managers are expected to produce results by working outside the hierarchical structural of the organisation and with out any kind of authority with in their realm of operations. Most of the times project managers do not conduct performance appraisal, offer rewards and incentives to their team members. Many of the problems faced by the project managers are behavioral in nature rather than technical. These problems though seem to be of a minor nature but have far reaching consequences in successful implementation of projects. A list of a dozen essentials for a project manager, arranged in order of importance and reasoning behind them is as follows.
(a) Planning :
It is said that if you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. Planning, its importance and methodologies is covered to a great extent in the following posts.
- 15 Benefits of Project Management Plan
- How to prepare an effective daily project execution plan
- Fundamentals of Project Planning and Scheduling
(b) Leadership :
(c) Time Management :
(d) Team Work :
(e) Adaptability :
(f) Conflict Management :
(g) Triple Constraints and more :
The undermentioned blog post states in depth of what are the other factors that influence the project success.
The world around us is changing rapidly and so is the expectations form a project manager. A good project manager should strive to achieve results that are beyond the triple constraints of schedule, cost and performance. Project Manager should also concentrate on the intrinsic value that a project brings to the organisation rather than satisfying the stake holders needs .
(h) Communicate :
(i) Stake Holder Management :
It is very important for the project manager to know who the stake holders are and what they want. In large projects the number of stake holders is large and their demands may also be conflicting in nature. Project Manager cannot please each and every stake holder however, he can identify the stakeholders and work out a realistic assessment of the stake holders requirements during the early stages of the project. Project Manager should also work out an impact to the project if any of powerful stake holder remains dissatisfied during the course of the project execution.
(j) Avoid Comfort Zone :
A seasoned project manager should never become comfortable with the present state of the project. He should always challenge the accepted beliefs and motivate his team members to create wonders. A project manager should always ask the questions like, who, what, when, where, why. What if analysis is an important tool that a project manager should use to mitigate risks. For some projecting a skeptical eye towards the future may seem gloomy but when it comes to project management it makes a real good sense.
(k) Focus on deliverable :
Project Manager has to deal with a number of activities on a daily basis not all are related to the end product. Under these circumstances project manager is likely to loose sight of the final goal. No matter how complex the over all situation is, a project manager should always remain focused and concentrate on the big picture.
(l) Manage Internal Factors :
Organisational environment differ from organisation to organisation however one thing that is common in all organisations is that project manager needs to manage both external and internal variables with equal importance. Though this point is appearing in the end of the list and the primary reason behind this is that some aspects of it has been covered in points mentioned above. Team dynamics, internal politics with in the organisations, overall organisational goals and priorities are some of the factors that a project manager needs to monitor to exercise better control over his project.
To conclude project management is not a one solution that fits all organisations, it varies form project to project with in the organisation. The above list has been enumerated based on my experience, you may find some other variables more compelling and crucial to a Project Manager. Moreover apart form the above mentioned dozen essentials that a project manager should ensure there is a list of pitfalls that a project managers should avoid. Blog post 10 Project Management Pitfalls that a project managers should avoid clearly brings out this fact.