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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The Things that go into Being a Project Manager
I have categorized the things that go into being a Project Manager under six headings…
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
- 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:
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:
- Organizational culture, policy, values, and procedures.
- External compliance requirements
- Industry knowledge
- Benefits definition, management, realization, and integration.
- The external business environment of competitors, suppliers, and customers
- The need for and obstacles to change
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:
- Problem Solving
- Decision Making
- Personal Time Management
- Learning, developing, and mastering new ideas, knowledge, and skills
- Balancing multiple priorities (not necessarily multitasking)
- Objective evaluation – data gathering and analysis – you need to be a rational thinker
- Gravitas and impact
Just as a chef needs to get the measurements just right, we need to be adept at mathematical and financial thinking
Working with people: collaborating, leading, and communicating with them are how we cook our meal. PMI has taken to calling these ‘Power Skills’:
- Managing upwards – we have bosses, sponsors, and clients to please!
- Team building and leadership
- Allocating and Coordinating work
- Conflict Management
- Communication in all its forms
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.
Recommended Videos to Help with being a Project Manager
Carefully curated video recommendations for you:
- Committing to Be a Professional Project Manager | Video
- The Role of a Project Manager: Project Management Responsibilities | Video
- Top 12 Non-Technical Skills that a Project Manager Needs | Video
- Top 15 Management Skills that Project Managers Need to Master | Video
- How to Become a Great Project Manager – 3 things you need | Video
- 7 Ways a Project Manager is like a Pilot | Video
- Three Concepts to Make You a Smarter Project Manager | Video
- What do Good Project Managers do that Average PMs Don’t? | Video
- Personal Effectiveness: 5 Tips for Project Managers | Video
Recommended Articles to Help with being a Project Manager
- What You Need to Know about the Project Manager Job Description
- Do You Understand the Role of the Project Manager?
- How to Be the Best Project Manager You Can Be
- 12 Essential Things a Project Manager Should do: How are you doing?
- Emotional Intelligence: The Secret to Being an Excellent Project Manager
- What 12 Christmas Gifts will Make You a Better Project Manager?
- Are You a New Project Manager? Here’s 10 Tips
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.
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.