June 1, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management Musings
Top 3 Project Management Tips - All You Need
By The Grumpy Project Manager
Top three tips, skills, rules, feature etc. for project management don’t exist. Several articles and blogs like to present this kind of lists but a project manager should see those only as entertainment. Project management is not such a simple task that one could do it by following three tips. If a project manager finds a convincing tips list and believes that it is the ultimate truth troubled waters are waiting ahead. Focusing on top three tips will mean that a project manager forgets numerous other relevant things. Projects are always different. They have different objectives and operating environment. In all projects all project management tasks need to be performed. Following the same three tips in all - even if they seem to fit one project - will mean that performance decreases dramatically.
Team spirit is everything
Team spirit is not everything, even if that is one common tip. A project can be executed without problems with average team spirit, but it requires a bit different kind of project management. Trying to desperately build team spirit in all project is a usual start for scope creep and fragmented solutions; all requests and proposals are accepted in order to keep up the good spirit.
Communication is the key to success
Another popular topic is communication and how crucial it is. Communication is the key to nothing. Focusing merely on communication is nonsense. If a project manager puts major effort on communication she or he will soon note that it is in vain. Increasing communication increases communication. We send an informative, motivating and enthusiastic messages. We start receiving similar feedback that we again need to answer. Then we report that we have good and active communication. When this communication is evaluated it does not contain much relevant information. Communication becomes a major task and we are soon mainly communicating about communication.
The key to success is executing the project; doing the right tasks the right way. Communication is just like any other project task; it needs to be planned well and optimized according to the project. Furthermore, communication is merely a supporting activity and not the main task. The project and its objectives must guide optimized communication and not vice versa.
Project managers should use suitable standards like PMBOK as the guideline in their work. It contains the basic project management process groups and knowledge areas. All those need to be remembered in a project. No three tips lists give the reason to ignore any of those. In case a project manager uses a three tips list it should be compared to PMBOK to find out what areas are ignored by following this list. There is no easy shortcut for professional project management.
Each project is different. Each project’s operating environment is different even if projects were run within the same organization at the same time. This is because projects have different objectives and so affect stakeholders in different ways. Because of this there is not one simple tip list for project management… But I better stop now before I end up proposing my top three tips.
The Grumpy Project Manager is a program manager in an international corporation and has over ten years of experience in managing R&D, IT and business development projects. You can read more from the Grumpy PM on his (or her?) blog. S/he can be contacted by email at TheGrumpyProjectManager@gmail.com.