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Seven Steps to Achieving Expert Status Through Successful Project Results
By Joyce Coleman

Strategic, successful outcomes can propel a person from being unknown to “expert” status.

People who exhibit the ability to obtain excellent outcomes, who can anticipate change and respond before the need for it causes customer defection and/or revenue erosion, can Manage Up bring extraordinary value to their organizations, and are often highly sought after by other firms.

These seven strategies can make you into an expert, the guru in your area.

  1. Success Strategy: Recognize what your project’s desired outcomes looks like.

    Beginning a project without a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve is inviting failure. You must have this information in order to plan and execute your strategy.

    At the very outset, know what is expected. If you work for an organization or corporation, know what their vision and goals are. If you don’t have a written description of your organization’s objectives, request it, then clarify anything that you don’t understand.

    Bottom line, you need to identify what your organization is expecting you to accomplish. You must not settle for ambiguous answers; ambiguous results could end your career or your business.

    Check with your Human Resources department to ensure that you do not break a corporate Cardinal Rule. Consider bringing HR in as a member of your team. This person can help keep you on track and bring boosters to your project. Know the boundaries set by your company, so you don’t step over some imaginary or real line that might jeopardize your good work.

  2. Success Strategy: Exercise due diligence – do critical research and analysis that shows you an information landscape of your topic.

    There is a very wise saying: If you don’t know your history you are doomed to repeat it. The saying holds true for governments, business, and individuals. To avoid repeating mistakes made by others who have been where you’re trying to go, look at what they have to say about their experiences.

    Study the history of past successes and failures. Find out the underlying reasons for failures and successes. Explore how other groups are managing similar problems. You can learn from others; however, you may not be able to use the application in the same way as they did.

  3. Success Strategy: Recognize what resources are necessary for the success of your project

    Recognizing and obtaining tools and other resources that are critical to achieving your project’s s goals will improve your chances of realizing success.

    Sketch your action plan. Mindmaps are effective for this process, but whiteboards or old fashioned paper and pencil will also work.

    Find answers to these questions:

    • What people, processes, and technology are needed to achieve success?
    • What core competencies are needed (i.e. expertise in communications, analytics, customer care, marketing, public relations, IT support, the ability to finesse top managers, etc.)?
    • Must other kinds of assets be considered? Why?
    • Can assets be acquired in phases to lessen initial cost outlay?
    • What resources can be leveraged to acquire what you need?
  4. Success Strategy: Ensure that your project has an adequate return on investment

    You should have a reasonable expectation that your project brings value to your company before you offer it for consideration, or proceed on your own. If your project is for your own company, this strategy is even more critical because adverse outcomes could jeopardize your company’s existence.

    Examine the following questions:

    • What are the costs of resources needed to successfully complete your project?
    • What is the projected impact on the organization’s profits?
    • Can you lower costs and thereby increase the return on investment by exploiting existing resources?

    If appropriate, get support from your boss and/or associates by defining how assets will be used, how the project adds to the organization’s bottom line, and what is in it for them.

  5. Success Strategy: Form and manage a team that is capable of achieving your goals

    Successful teams have specific characteristics that work harmoniously to achieve successful outcomes. Creating effective teams from current personnel within an organization can on occasion be similar to walking a tightrope. It’s a balancing act that merges a variety of perceptions, personalities, skills, and personal goals.

    Look within your own team to find people with necessary knowledge and skills. You’ll gain loyalty by recognizing those who have longed to be a player, have killer skills, but were left out of the game in the past because of politics.

    Are you willing to share the limelight with an associate in order to get required resources at an affordable price? If you can deal with it, partner with others to obtain what you need.

    Get over any triviality that might prevent you from using the best talent available.

    In order to ensure that each team member understands his or her role, define what each will provide to the project, how you will acknowledge their participation and contributions in published results. If there is a recognition or reward program, the team should know about it up front.

    A word of caution: defuse potentially volatile situations before they erupt.

  6. Success Strategy: Incorporate internal and external communications in your action plan

    Internal communications that keep team members informed of milestones met or missed, roadblocks, and remaining timelines are necessary to staying on course. External communications that keep those who have a vested interest in the project in the loop are equally important.

    It is important to have at least one team member who shines in business reporting. This attribute will enable you to stay abreast of what’s going on while you attend to the many duties that are commonplace in business today. An excellent business reporting arm can provide three critical elements: concise identification and presentation of project status; discreetly keep you apprised of potential problems so necessary course corrections can me made; and deliver verbal presentations or camera-ready written documents that can be used for additional communications.

    Ensure that each team member knows the project’s vision, expectations, timelines, and his/her personal role, even if it includes vague concepts and unknowns. Each should know about the roles of others, so they can better provide support for the overall project.

  7. Success Strategy: Acknowledge your team’s performance

    There is a reason why most organizations have some kind of formal recognition for specific accomplishment milestones, and you should ensure that each team member is appropriately recognized for the team’s successes.

    Everyone appreciates a pat on the back for a job well done. A not-so-obvious reward for each team member is an enhanced CV that reflects the skills acquired and outcomes produced from working on your project. However, a more tangible acknowledgment of accomplishments goes much further in showing your team that you value their hard work and dedication.

When you incorporate and execute these strategies successfully, success is almost assured, barring some catastrophic incident that changes the entire landscape. Documenting and showcasing the process that you used, and the results you accomplished places you among the experts in your field.

Joyce Coleman offers free resources on how to use work and life experiences to develop products and become an entrepreneur or simply to experience greater success in life. Get a free copy of Your New Beginning, an ebook that shows its readers how to define and develop their skills and knowledge into an information product that can be marketed on the Internet. Many more free resources on Success and starting a business website at http://www.leverage-your-resources.com.

For those who are ready to get started on the Internet, Joyce’s team offers affordable help that will help you develop your expertise into a service or product that you can market on the Internet. Her extensive team will also help you get started.

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