Plan or Act

For sometime I have been thinking about making a decision and you have been analyzing that in your head and talking to friends and colleagues for some time. Being someone with a Project Management background you procrastinate about really planning things out to the point or even developing a plan. By doing so you are getting frustrated by the lack of action and suddenly realize that same frustration comes from business and IT leaders when confronted with project management asking them to plan.

You have to get the balance right – you have to make time to plan, talk, analyze and then you have to act. You cant be seen to hold action up because inaction is unacceptable. 

So I have the outline of a plan and a vision and I have begun to do and check and finally act for the long term. 

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When you lead a Project you need to ensure your team has all the right skills but more importantly all the right team attributes to be successful.

  • If the team is to succeed it needs to be acting as a team and not a collection of individuals. 
  • For individuals to act in unison with one another they need to be confident in their abilities and contribution to the team
  • Confidence comes within but can be coached from you as well.

As the Project Manager your job is to ensure your team members act with confidence and that is especially hard when things aren’t going well as happens on every project. Look for the signs when confidence wains in individuals and use your leadership skills to take that person aside and bolster them up. Share concerns but also instill the confidence back into them. You will see the difference if done well and your team will thrive from the confidence displayed by them. 

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More than one thing…

I saw this image this morning and it reminded me:

1) there are those that talk about communicating more,

2) those who say they are innovative

3) those who say they are transparent but…

Leadership isn’t about doing one thing well it is about combining things well that leads to trust.

When your team trusts you and you trust them anything is possible..A6ED846D-CBA7-4593-9211-8C29334EB39F

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Challenge the norm…

We sometimes get caught up in the day to day aspects of our job and accept what has always been. As we get sucked into our roles we have to consider how we can make a difference and that is by challenging what is accepted and leading my making bold decisions. In a profession like Project Management you can read theory and put that into practice. You can implement what is described as ‘best practice’ and wonder why projects wont go to plan.

I want to challenge us all to take a step back and question what we have always done and ask why?

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Always stay true

There are times as a Project Manager that you have to rise above the drama that unfolds not just on your project but in the work environment around you. That is part of day to day work life but the Project Manager has to stay focused on the project objectives at hand and by acting that way show an example to your team to follow. This holds true for all those in leadership positions. Dont get involved in the drama that others choose to create.

Take the high ground, no matter how hard, and act with a high level of emotional intelligence – you will make a difference to some, if not all, around you.

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Can I help?

As Project Managers we always look to have our plans set, budgets tracked, scope understood and generally controls in place to lessen the risk of failure. All these things are great to have but let’s not forget that to be truly successful you need a team to perform together and your job is to have them perform at their best.

Individuals on a team aren’t always at their best – we all have our days when things just don’t seem to be going right and we feel like we are achieving little of any value. As the Project Manager and leader of that project you must be able to see that and act.

One of the easy ways is to constantly keep three words handy when you speak to your team members – ‘can I help?’.

It doesn’t mean you always can – it just means you are there if needed and helping your team

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As Project Managers our aim is to gain respect from those around us as we guide a project team and ultimately a business to deliver results from its investments in projects. This can only be achieved by holding everyone accountable to their piece of the project puzzle.

There is an art to Project Management and sometimes non more so than having people held accountable to do their part on a project. This can be made even harder with an organization in the midst of change (as we all seem to be in todays business world). The art comes from the delivery of the message when someone is not pulling their weight on a project and needs encouragement to ensure they complete what they are accountable for. There will be occasions when they do not complete what is assigned and there poses the project manager with a problem to solve.

Letting them slip and impacting other parts of the project ensures that the PM has not done their job. Holding them accountable and escalating the problem could (and i say could) impact their work on the project. But it is the job of the PM to have those conversations and work with team members to ensure they know what is expected of them and once in a while call them out. It needs to be done with respect and at the right time.

It is never easy but everyone on the project team and in the organization as a whole must understand it is part of the job and support them in doing it.

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