More to the point, what makes a good project manager? What are the characteristics of one and what is it that separates two very different kinds of people. As you can learn on a good Agile Project Management Course.
I’m sure that a hundred years ago there was no such thing as project management because it really didn’t exist. There was no way to accurately plan the details of the project, no way to run a project, no standard way to plan the project and no such thing as a project well run. There was, however, a case study of a real live project that started within the Government of Australia and this project ran for over 80,000 project hours, and unfortunately, many of the employees involved live within that Government organisation.
Another difference is that today, we have a great many tools and techniques that help us approach projects and problems becoming better managers and individuals and also that means that there are fewer people that are more capable than other people.
Our first view when we talk about project management is therefore that it’s the management of a project. Someone is managing a project, and that organisation or that person takes on the role of the project manager. So there are two kinds of projects, there are real projects and there are those nominal projects. The nominal projects survive by virtue of their start, finish and their size. They may live a life of a year, perhaps of a year and a half until the project is completed or they may live for 5 years, hopefully longer. There are many different ways to make nominal projects but how many people would try to plan a 5 year plan and do it.
Although nominal projects have some differences, the major difference I believe is that project management professionals look for the opportunity factor that differentiates those projects from others.
Here are some fundamental ways to approach the opportunities you have as a project manager:
- Make a list of potential opportunities. These could be new areas of work, new products, services, markets, markets and services, or new competences.
- Organise a discussion on the possibilities of all potential opportunities
- Define advantages and disadvantages to each opportunity
- Look for the learning in the positive side of these projects, and use the positive side as an advantage for PRODUCING success.
- Define each of the PRODUCING opportunities by knowing EXACTLY what the success criteria of each opportunity will be
- Work your way through the opportunities one by one
- Find ways to put the options together and create a viable solution
- Decide which of these options will be the best option to PRODUCE successful
- Identify potential risks and try to eliminate them.
- Look at the benefits of each list – just reading each list will not help you make the important choices.
- Use the information to select a list that will give you the best chance of success
Another way to look at career management is to view it as a project. Doing the right project management tasks helps you to succeed and gives a range of positive outcomes which make for a positive career in project management.
Let me know what you think about the project management and career management metaphors. What are some ways you have used and learnt to successfully manage your career? What positive difference have you seen in your career? How important to you are these types of projects to your career?