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The 8 Strategies of Very Successful Project Managers
By Richard Morreale

Successful Project Management has about 20% to do with hard skills dealing with Planning, Organizing, Monitoring and Controlling and about 80% to do with attitude and behaviors. In other words, success is more about “how you tell ‘em” than “what you tell ‘em”. Don’t get me wrong here. I do believe that you must have the 20% in place. I am a believer in hard skill processes, procedures, plans and controls. It’s just that I believe, from experience and from interviewing and modeling other successful Project Managers, that the bigger part of the success equation is attitudes and behaviors. Things such as, enthusiasm, energy, commitment to excellence, commitment to success, sense of humor, communication, honesty, openness, self-motivation, the ability to motivate others, etc. Put these attitudes and behaviors with the hard skills and you become a formidable opponent of the failed project. This is not the last time my readers will read about the 20% – 80% mix of hard and soft skills. I’m going to keep saying it until most project managers are hired or promoted into the job mostly because of their soft skills and, oh by the way, they also know how to Plan, Organize, Monitor and Control a project..

By the way, I believe that these 8 strategies can be applied by anyone to help them set and achieve goals. I could talk for hours and write books about each of these strategies but let me give you a top-level view of the 8 Strategies:

Strategy Number 1. Know Your Outcome: Know what it is you want to achieve before you start to achieve it.

Strategy Number 2. Plan the Achievement: Start using success words such as achievement, success, completion, etc. and also make sure you have a detailed plan in place for achieving the outcome.

Strategy Number 3. Organize for Success: There’s that success word again. Plus you must organize you, your team, and all others that you are dependent on for successful achievement of your outcome into a viable organization relating to the Plan.

Strategy Number 4. Gain and Maintain Commitment: Rather than just jumping into the work necessary to achieve the outcome, I suggest that you ensure that all who need to be committed to the Achievement Plan are committed and you have a strategy in place to keep them committed.

Strategy Number 5. Take Massive Action: Once the Outcome is known, the Plan is prepared, the Organization is in place, the people are committed you must take massive action to your plan. Action does not necessarily equal achievement. However, massive action to the plan to the plan does.

Strategy Number 6. Monitor and Control Achievement: As you take massive action to the plan you must ensure that you are monitoring achievement and, if required, making changes to the plan. In addition, it is highly important that you have the necessary controls in place to handle changes, risks, issues, etc. that could affect achievement.

Strategy Number 7. Stay Focused: It is extremely important that you remain focused on delivery of the outcome in accordance with the way in which achievement has been planned. However, if changes are required, make them and then re-focus on the new Outcome or the new Plan.

Strategy Number 8. The Secret Strategy: We’ll write more about this later. Until then it will remain secret1. However, it is one habit that all truly successful people practice.

1You can email me at and I might reveal the Secret. (I probably will)

Richard is an extremely experienced Program Manager, Professional Speaker and company executive of Inspiration Systems, Ltd. Richard can: Manage your biggest project, speak at your next meeting or conference, rescue any of your projects that are in trouble, help your project managers be better project managers, help your project managers make their certification work better for them, help your company enhance performance and increase production. He is also the Author of Over 50 Killer Ideas for Delivering Successful Projects. Buy it at or Contact Richard at or 336 499 6677.

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