Last Sunday I was invited to the 27th edition of Progressteron – the development festival for women, to deliver a workshop on project management. This time (delivered a session during the previous edition) I have titled this 3 hour workshop: Project Management in a nutshell – a few planning tools. In 3 hours you cannot really learn much about project management, but hopefully at least I had managed to inspire and motivate the delegates (not only women, we had one man) to further learning and exploring. In this post I would like to share 3 take aways.
- Spend some time to discuss and agree your goal – remember it must be SMART!
As PMs we define goals/ objectives very often: project objectives, our personal goals etc? And we all know they need to be SMART.
Easy? It looks like, but in the reality it’s not so easy. And the project/ personal success very often depends on how we define and understand our objectives. Well done the teams – your project goals were very smart, even though we started from something like: motivate…, develop an innovative product (not sure what we mean by “innovative” and is anyone going to buy it?) “,etc. And finally the consensus was reached: “Increase the profit of the English School to 20K PLN / month within one year”. Very smart, isn’t it?
What a coincidence? Just have received an e-mail from The PM Coach with the new post: “5 Project management secrets You Can Use”. And the goal is the first secret: “No goal, no success”. Need to mention that had drafted my post a day before. Maybe it’s not the coincidence? Just a proof that the goal is so important!
- Stakeholders? Who are they? What are their roles – responsibilities & authorities?
Identifying, analysing and then managing project stakeholders (simply keeping them up to date and happy) is another so obvious thing, but not really taken care of. In my 15 years' project management career I’ve noticed that many organizations neglect it and the result is the project failure. Have you got your Communication Plan ready?
And last, but not least is what I always stress during my sessions. Believe or not, but this is also one of the 5 secrets!
- Projects are people – not equipment, materials or PERT diagrams!!!
I cannot dare to quote PM Coach here: “It’s not about projects, it’s about people.
This is one the biggest secrets of project management. Technical knowledge and certifications are important, but they are also secondary. Project management is people management. If you are already helping, pushing, and herding groups of people towards a single goal, then congratulations: you already are a project manager.”
And again I agree with PM Coach: “While project management does employ specialized knowledge and strict procedures, it uses key principles that everyone can use, regardless of your industry”.
To summarize: No matter if you plan your wedding, holidays, a new house, a family weekend or a construction or a software project use planning techniques and have fun!