We’re handing the blog over to the brilliant Lee Garrett, one of our experts on Project Management Training and resident tech-whizz.
When I’m not delivering workshops as a Productivity Ninja for Think Productive, I freelance as both a Project and Programme Manager.
And wow. The correlation between the two is amazing!
I’ve delivered IT projects for the best part of 10 years now and I’d like to think that over that time, I’ve been able to develop a set of skills (sometimes intentional, sometimes not!) that help me not only deliver a successful project, but also lead a happier life at the same time. I don’t believe there is any element of project management that is not directly transferable to the life you live when you are not under the glare of a watching stakeholder, an obstructive Change control manager or a budget holder that won’t give you what you need.
In my eyes, Project Management is about preparation, organisation, control, process and leadership. To deliver a successful project and maintain a certain degree of sanity into the bargain, these are crucial. However, there is one hidden skill that over-arches all of the above and it is my firm belief that without this, you will never be successful in project management. Or indeed, any kind of management in life – period.
That skill, is communication.
No matter which form of Project Management you decide, or are required, to utilise in your professional world – having a solid set of communication skills will help maintain balance and control throughout the project’s lifecycle.
Think of the stakeholders at the beginning. In a perfect world, your stakeholder knows exactly what they are expecting the deliverables of the project to be. Speaking from experience, this isn’t always the case! They may have a rough idea of some form of utopian goal, however you need to communicate effectively at the project inception to ensure that the scope is agreed upon.
You then need to be sure that, as the project progresses, your stakeholders are fully appraised of the progress. Any potential deviations, exceptions or blocks need to be communicated so that they can, in turn, manage both their expectations as well as their own stakeholders. If things aren’t going to plan, and you don’t communicate this, a world of pain is coming your way.
Scope creep is the most common cause of project failure and employing an effective communication strategy with your stakeholders helps eliminate this.
Then, we have your team. You must communicate effectively with your team to ensure they deliver the results you require. They’ve got to both understand what your requirements are, as well as be motivated and want to deliver the best work they can. As a Project Manager, you are only as strong as the weakest link in your delivery team so it’s crucial that you communicate with your team members on a regular basis. Whether it’s a daily sprint call, a weekly update meeting or even just regular messages via Teams/WhatsApp, internal communication with your team members is so important.
Without effective communication, your project will fail – I 100% guarantee that.
With it, however, you have the foundation to be a strong leader and deliver some real magic.
Want to be the Project Manager that Wows the Rest?
If Lee’s insights into life as a Productivity Ninja and Project Manager has sparked an idea in you that you or your team could use some helping nailing communication (or any other aspects of Project Management) then we have just the workshop for you.
Read all about our new Project Management Training and if it sounds like something your team needs, drop us a line!
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