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Great Project Managers Can Manage Anything!
By Michael L Young

Good project managers have skills that apply in every management profession.

Most people understand the traditional view of PM’s. They establish a project’s scope, prepare budgets and schedules, plan communications, monitor and report on all the distinct tasks needed to deliver results.

Traditionally, measurement of success relies strongly on implementation of technical tools and methodologies. People with an eye on the industry however know that that contemporary PM is so much more than just completing tasks.

Projects are mostly made up of humans and the interactions between them. We are complex creatures and it’s the differences between us and the ways we interact that often bring projects unstuck or result in excellence.

This means that project managers now need a broader range of business skills – especially ‘people skills’ to make sure that projects deliver outstanding results.

There are four areas of skill that separate those who can walk the walk from those who just talk the talk.

  1. Understanding the changing world of project management.

    This means being up to date with the latest theories, methodologies and case studies. Such knowledge gives PM’s more tools to be able to adapt to each unique situation as it arises in project implementation.

  2. Project managers should be good leaders

    Leadership crosses a number of areas. It starts with setting the vision, goals, and objectives and establish values. The best PMs can engage clients, stakeholders and team members, and motivate people and keep them on track when the going gets tough.

  3. Project managers need to build a team

    Team building is knowing how to find the right people for the job – matching tasks to skills and using team members to the greatest effect. Good PMs manage conflict within the team. They mentor and coach – passing on knowledge and building autonomy within the group so they can achieve results without relying on their leader.

  4. Good communication is essential

    Award-winning PM’s are those that manage communication best. It’s difficult to achieve great results unless all the parties are on board with the strategic direction and activities of the project. Excellent written and presentation skills are essential but so is the ability to actively listen and be open to new ideas.

Skills are developed through a combination of training, work experience and mentoring from experts who have applied those skills in the real world and achieved success. Transformed helps organizations and individuals to build their project management capability.

Michael Young is an award-winning project management consultant, trainer and assessor and Managing Director of Transformed Pty Ltd. Transformed works with individuals to develop their project management skills and with organizations to enhance their program delivery and strategic implementation capabilities. Michael can be contacted at http://www.transformed.com.au.

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