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Project Manage Yourself

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Getting team members committed to the project scope, budget and schedule is a matter of removing any roadblocks and helping resolve any conflicts.
 
Sounds simple enough. It's what project managers were trained to do, more or less.
 
But while the project manager has a lot to do with getting everyone aligned on the right approach, how team members manage themselves impacts the project outcome just as much.
 
Here are some things project managers and team members should keep in mind to make sure the outcome is what everyone has planned:
 
--Think twice before engaging extra team members. Be ready with a plan of what you need from the resources and whether they're in a position to provide it.

--Treat external staff members that help out with the project as if you had to pay for every minute of their engagement from a mini budget that you will be held accountable for.

--Make sure you're aware of how your role and your deliverable contribute to the final project result. And validate that role and deliverable with the rest of your project team to ensure you're only working on what's going to add the most value to what is required.

--Be able to account for the work you've done and prove that it directly related to the scope and activities assigned to you. Be completely responsible for everything you commit to along the way -- as if you might be audited.

--Create your own measure of success and communicate it to the team. Be ready to show the results of your work, whether you're asked for it or not.

--Be aware of time wasters -- they eat away from the time you have available to deliver your assigned tasks. Make your own efficiency one of your accountabilities.
 
When each individual manages his or her time and tasks with these basic rules, the entire team is better positioned to deliver on time, on budget and within scope.

 

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8 Comments

"Create your own measure of success and communicate it to the team. Being ready to give an answer for your work is another thing, though. That comes across as a little bit "horn tooting.""

Possibly Dimitri was saying to establish your own measure of success for the project, not for yourself -- and I have found, after 17 years of project management, that a little horn tooting never hurt anyone, particularly if you can get somebody else to play counterpoint and harmony.

This is really where "walk the talk" is very apt -- it is critical for project managers and program managers to be able to manage themselves and plan on and execute the strategy to achieve those high-level deliverables and expectations. This approach will then be more readily acceptable and adopted throughout the team, leading to greater successes.

--Be able to account for the work you've done and prove that it directly related to the scope and activities assigned to you...as if you might be audited.

I would be interested in being directed to some links on blogs.pmi on software that's good for self-work tracking

--Create your own measure of success and communicate it to the team. Being ready to give an answer for your work is another thing, though.

That comes across as a little bit "horn tooting".

great post as usual!

Thank you. Great suggestions and points to remember. I work in a research environment which is highly regulated and precision is key to maintain data quality and achieve project goals and objectives. Tracking our activity and being able to show "proof" of the work is key along with always remembering to hold one's self accountable.

I appreciate the good point of accountability and responsibility of personal work: "for everything you commit to along the way -- as if you might be audited."

This arouses me to recall the quality concept of triple functions-supplier, processor and customer, requested to every participant in the loop of a project- in which the supplier needs to know and deliver what the processor wants, while the processor needs to be competent to his own part and to meet the requirements of the customer.

Finally, as a customer, needs to provide what you exactly want, and feedback to the supplier.

Above all, it requires both competence and commitment.

Good tips, sound advice. I especially liked the bit about treating external staff members to help out with the project as if you had to pay for every minute of their engagement from a mini budget that you will be held accountable for. Most large companies can perform multiple functions, are active in more than one line of business, and operate in multiple countries.

For many companies, such complexity leads to serious internal conflicts, slow decision making, duplication of costs, and a silo mentality. For all the attention given to crafting a smart strategy, most organizations lag far behind in the ability to execute strategies. Bringing about alignment and coordination in complex organizations is one of the most important challenges facing managers today.

The IMD OWP 2010 will present the central principles of managing complex organizations and then guide managers to apply these principles to their own companies.

To attend a common goal among all team members, PM must have all that credibility to motivate them toward a common goal. (Project scope)

This is possible through maintaining our words in each situation. Actions of PM should be inline with what PM says.

Regards,
Sunil Kumbhar

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