Are you F.I.T. to be a Project Manager? Part 2
Submitted by: Josephine Marcellin
In Part 1 of this article, we explored the F.I.T.™ principle of project management. In this article, we will look at the first component of this principle – The Power of FOCUS.
Every great athlete, entrepreneur or business executive who has achieved great levels of success will tell you that, with focused determination, you can accomplish anything.
Success in project management is no different. If we hope to accomplish anything great during our project management career, we must learn to focus on our tasks, our roles and our project’s overarching goal.
If you, as a project manager, do not focus on the key tasks that are required to make your project successful, then key warning signals will be missed. While you are fighting fires or doing your system analyst’s or business analyst’s job for them, some critical item will fall through the cracks – with the inevitable end result that crises develops in the latter stages of the project and end up in “fire-fighting” mode when it could have been easily avoided.
This may seem like a “pipe dream”. Most projects exist in an environment that demands that project managers multitask, or handle multiple projects. In fact, if we try to paint a picture of the typical project manager, we often end up with an image of a juggler – an individual who is occupied with juggling many balls.
But in order to generate success, you must learn to develop targeted focus. What does that mean? You must focus your attention at any one point in time on only one task and one task only and complete it before moving to something else. That means you deal with one ball, exclusively, at a time. But how can we achieve this targeted focus in a constantly dynamic project environment?
The answer is very simple – appropriate planning. You, as a project manager, have participated in the development of the project plan and have delegated the tasks. You’ve identified and communicated appropriate roles and responsibilities. You’ve created an appropriate environment to develop strong team relationships.
Now you have to apply the same type of planning to your activities.
Here are two ideas that will help you focus on the right things:
Identify, clearly document and communicate roles and responsibilities. Make sure that all the project management responsibilities are identified. If you work in a small organization or development shop, then make sure that the tasks of planning, coordinating, directing, facilitating, tracking and monitoring, reporting, and negotiating are clearly assigned.
If you don’t clearly identify all the project management tasks that need to be done, chances are that one of your stakeholders, maybe even your manager, will assume that these tasks are not that important and will request that you do some alternate tasks “to fill up your available time”. Clear identification, documentation and communication of all tasks will make your job a whole lot easier.
Understand what you’re not good at and delegate the task to an appropriate team member. For example, I hate administrative duties, especially the documentation of minutes. In fact, I’ve found that, even though I will complete this task, if pushed, it’s definitely not one that I enjoy. My skills are better utilized in other areas. So I’ve successfully delegated this task out to my team members. They document the minutes, send them to me for review and then they are distributed to the appropriate stakeholders.
This has proven successful because now the minutes are definitely sent out faster than if I were to do them personally. In addition, the delegation of this task allows me to give my full attention to the facilitation of the discussion rather than focus on developing minutes.
About Author: Josephine Marcellin, MBA PMP,is the Founder and Executive Director of Results Doctor, a consulting and training company which offers FREE weekly project management advice at http://www.resultsdoctor.com. Don’t miss her new guide for troubled projects- http://www.backontrackbook.com. Get it TODAY!
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