as a Project Manager I red thousands and thousand articles about Project Management. I focused on tips “how to Manage Projects on right way, and how to get Projects done” and I found a lot of useful and helpful articled. BUT! No in most of them you will find what must be done. And this is great. But, how should something be done? Those answers are usually great, but general! What do I mean by that? Let me give you some examples.
- Establish good relationship with sponsor
- Establish good communication with all stakeholders
- Make a good plan
- Communicate with the team often
- Raise problems early
You are all aware of that. All those tips have one single question in common, and this is: HOW? Again, examples:
- HOW TO Establish good relationship with sponsor
- HOW TO Establish good communication with all stakeholders
- HOW TO Make a good plan
- HOW TO Communicate with the team often
- HOW TO Raise problems early
If we ignore problems like Force majeure (Like hurricane or earthquaqe), and technical problems (like server crash), you will see that all challenges and problems are related to the people on the Project. So, when you read tips remember that there is no such a thing like: “One size fits all” tips.
Let me give you example. Some people want reports daily, and they are unhappy if they do not get them. some people like reports in PowerPoint, some in Power BI, some in Word, some in MS PROJECT, and some of them want to have a meeting when you will tell them how is your project going without using single tool. And they are all stakeholders. What will you do? Make multiple types of reports? One for each of them. Or would you pick the most important stakeholder (whatever “most importnat” means) and make just one type of report for this particular stakeholder? Do you want a tip? Real tip? It is: “I do not know!”. you should see what kind of persons are you dealing with. Are you dealing with stubborn one, or reasonable one. Can you show or convince them that making many kinds of reports are waste of time and money? Or not? Do you see where am i pointing at. PEOPLE!
Finally – the Culture differences. Today Business as usual is that you will have a Project surrounded with people around the globe. And they are different. with that I do not mean that some nations or cultures are better than the other. NO! Not at all! I just want to point out that what is common and usual in one culture, is unacceptable in other. For example in one culture that is usual thing to start the meeting with talking about politics or about family. In other that is considered as improper. And this is easy to solve if you have people from one culture in one meeting, and from the other culture in other meeting. but, usually you will have people from different culture in a single meeting in a single room.
I have 30 years of experience in Project Management. And if someone will ask me what are my tips I will say:
- Always act as a Professional. This is your job. Never, ever take ANYTHING PERSONAL
- Approach to every single person no matter of his/her role (Sponsor, Stakeholder, Developer, ..), differently. Yes, this is hard. But every person in this world is different. Respect that!
- Remember that every Project is unique, so do not use same procedures and approaches in every single Project
- Be aware that with some people (or many) you will have a problem to make understanding. You will. In every single project you will have at least one person who is hard to deal with. YES. HARD. Do not complain. Again, that is your job.
- Hope that you will have a luck, but be prepared that you will not, and expect problems.
My 5 cents