Friday, February 21, 2014

"They pushed me into this project..." Sounds familiar :-)

Sometime back, in a project management workshop in a very large product based company, a senior project manager made a comment 'They pushed me into this project', in the presence of his entire team!. This person is supposed to lead and inspire the team, but unfortunately this comment aired his attitude to the project, and in a broader sense to life itself. The attitude of the project manager is contagious and influences the team positively or negatively, depending on positive or negative attitudes of the project manager. The project manager fundamental responsibility is to make things happen as per the plan. If one is not inspired by the project at hand, it is better not to occupy the position of the project manager. As per PMBOK (Project management body of knowledge), and in reality, projects fail at the beginning. The fate of the project is decided during the early stages of the project. Either we start projects which do not have sound business case to support it, or the project manager do not have the skill sets to manage the project, or the team do not have the capability to deliver...the reasons could be many, and it is a fact that projects fail at the beginning, not at the middle or end. The failure become evident during the middle or at the end of the project, but the root causes leading to these failures happen at the beginning of the project life cycle. Optimism is the key to successful project management.

Project management is a critical strategic discipline and is the link between the strategy and the team. Let us take a closer look at the Competencies, roles and responsibilities of project managers;
  • Satisfy the needs; task needs, team needs and individual needs.
  • Project manager's role is a strategic role
  • Understanding and applying the project management good practices
  • Area specific skills
  • General management competencies related to knowledge, performance and personal
  • Leadership qualities
  • Team building skills
  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Influencing
  • Decision making
  • Political and cultural awareness
  • Negotiation
  • Trust building
  • Conflict management
  • Coaching
Are you made for these things?. See, every body is not made for everything. Many societies associate lot of professional prestige to the term 'manager', and many gets into the managerial role due to this social compulsion, and ruin their career, just because it is not their cup of tea. Like projects, careers also fail, when we make wrong choices. So, think twice before taking a plunge into the project management profession, as a career option. If your strengths matches the requirements of the profession, then you are in the right path. Good luck.

Reference  PMBOK Version 5, pages 16,17,18

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