12 October, 2023

What Goes into Being a Project Manager? | Video

Delivering a successful Project is like cooking a great plate of food. So, let’s see the ingredients that go into being a Project Manager.

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This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

The Things that go into Being a Project Manager

I have categorized the things that go into being a Project Manager under six headings…

Professional Mindset

The first part of producing a great meal is the set of attitudes you bring, when you turn-up to cook. A Project Manager needs to bring:

  • Long view
  • Self-control
  • Care for quality
  • Governance and concern for integrity

Core PM Skills

The meat or star vegetable is what people come for. It’s vital (although often not what makes the dish a success). For Project Managers, we are talking about the core Project Management skills like:

Business Acumen

The primary source of nutrition in a dish is usually the vegetables. In projects, it’s all about understanding the business context and what value the business needs – Business Acumen. As Project Managers, we need a care for:

Personal Professional Effectiveness

What are the skills it takes to be a good chef? Project Managers need a wide range of personal skills, to be effective business professionals. These include:

Financial Acumen

Just as a chef needs to get the measurements just right, we need to be adept at mathematical and financial thinking

People Skills

Working with people: collaborating, leading, and communicating with them are how we cook our meal. PMI has taken to calling these ‘Power Skills’:

All of this requires that a Project Manager becomes a student of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Political Acumen

Finally, in cookery, you need herbs and spices to get the flavoring just right. A chef needs to understand spicing and flavoring and be able to deploy the right things in precise quantities. Equally, we need to understand and be able to work within the political environment.

Summing up the Ingredients of a Project Manager

Like all good recipes, no one ingredient is more important than any other. They are all essential. With one missing, the dish will be compromised and will never turn out as you expected it to.

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

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For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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