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Mastering The Art Of Project Management
By Joe Love

Some skills are helpful to have if you want to be successful. These are skills that are good to have, but they don’t make much of difference one way or the other. There are skills, however, that are absolutely essential to have in order for you to fulfill your potential and achieve success. These are skills you must develop to high degree in order to achieve all of your goals.

One of these absolutely essential skills is the ability to manage projects. A project is best defined as a multitask job. In other words it is being able to do several jobs at once, or in row. To be successful, especially in business, you must be good at project management. Project management is the way that you multiply yourself and your results. Mastering this skill is indispensable to you being to move to the top of your field and achieve financial independence.

Project management is not just a function of those who construct buildings or develop elaborate computer networks; it is something you engage in every time you go shopping at the grocery store. If own a business, every prospect you are working on developing into a regular customer is a project. If you’re going out for the evening with another person, you are planning and organizing a project.

Most people know how to carry out a multitask job, but few people are good at it. Most people are partially organized and partially disorganized. They spend too much time, and money, and they make too many mistakes in getting from Point A to Point B. They don’t manage the projects in their lives skillfully because they don’t know how critical it is to accomplishing virtually everything else they could possibly want in life.

To succeed in life, you need leverage; you need help. If you want to achieve big things, and live a great life, you need the help of other people. You need to be very good at coordinating the activities of several people in a single direction toward a predetermined objective. If you don’t develop your skills towards good project management, you will more than likely be involved in projects, but only as a team member and never a leader.

Outsourcing is something we hear a lot about today. Outsourcing means that instead of hiring or building a capable in-house staff to do a job, the company delegates the entire function of the job to another company that specializes in doing only that particular job.

Many businesses today are finding that it’s cheaper to have functions such as payroll, accounting, manufacturing, assembly, customer service, and many other jobs, done by other companies in different parts of the world that specialize in those areas than it is to do them in house.

Your whole life is a process of outsourcing. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are continually outsourcing tasks and activities to hundreds of different enterprises, such as grocery stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, quick-oil-changes, and so on. You don’t bother to learn how to do those things yourself. It is much faster and cheaper for you to turn the tasks over to people who specialize in them, because they can do them faster, better and with fewer mistakes than you could ever imagine.

By outsourcing, you free up your time to do more of the things you do best and are able to make more money doing them. You have to be able to outsource in order to develop leverage which in turns multiplies your talents and abilities.

When you’re involved in project management, you’re engaged in a systematic and well- organized process of outsourcing various jobs that need to be done to achieve a particular objective. You develop synergy by pulling together the talents and abilities of other people toward the accomplishment of a single goal. By working together as a team, a group of people with different talents can accomplish extraordinary things. Your ability to get all the members of your team pulling in the same direction is the key to maximizing your life and career.

Project management is an art. It requires thought. Whenever you have a large job to do, your very first step should be to analyze and write down every detail of the project before you begin. You must think the entire project through from beginning to end. By taking the time to do this you’ll save yourself enormous amounts of time and money. You’ll also be able to get more done in a few months than the average person gets done in years.

Project management takes practice and requires self-discipline. It requires the willpower to hold yourself back from plunging right into a job before first thinking it through. Most people simply react to whatever is happening around them and they respond to however they feel at the moment. They rush to make judgments, come to conclusions, and take actions without bothering to analyze the situation thoroughly, which causes mistakes.

To master the art of project management, you must, first develop a clear written definition of your ideal outcome or goal of the project when it is completed.  Then, you need to make a list of everything that will have to be done, every job that will have to be completed in order to achieve the goal. Organize every job as either sequential or parallel, and set a deadline for the completion of each one. Finally, set a deadline for the completion of the entire project.

It is critically important to the success of any project that you select the right people to be responsible for each job, delegate to them clearly, and give each person a specific deadline for the completion of the job. It is equally important for you to take full responsibility for the successful completion of both the overall project and every individual job in the project, which is why you must continually monitor and measure every part of the project to make sure it is going according plan and that it is on schedule.

The cumulative results of your developing the skills of project management will enable you to accomplish bigger projects with greater responsibilities. Your increased responsibilities will bring you greater rewards and higher income. Mastering the art of project management is your key to a successful future.

Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development.  Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many businesses around the world, on the subjects of leadership, achievement, goals, strategic business planning, and marketing.

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