By Mare Levine and Karen Dapper
Businesses know projects need project managers if they want their project to meet their goals, remain on time, and stay within its budget. While no one knows for sure how many Project Managers (PM) there are in the United States, ProjectManager.com, estimates there are 9-11 million, while DataUSA.io puts the number at just over 11 million. If each PM has six projects, that’s over 66 million projects looking for the guidance and professional support only a PM can give.
What is a Project?
- Has a clear start and finish
- Creates something new (even if it already exists elsewhere)
- Has boundaries (such as project scope and specifications)
- Has someone in charge or someone personally invested in the outcome
That seems pretty simple at first glance, but it’s also very powerful. A PM and their team create something new, within a framework, that has a personal and most likely, has a corporate investment in a positive outcome. That’s why having a project done correctly is so important.
What are the Parts of a Project?
- Project Plan
- Tasks for multiple teams
- Meetings (there could be a lot)
- Risk log, communication plan and resource plans
- Hand off and close project
While not every project has all of these pieces, all projects do need structure and the commitment of the team involved (the stakeholders), to see it through to a successful conclusion.
What Does a PM Need to Have?
- Organizational skills
- Clear written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to motivate others
- Agility to change course
- Critical thinking
- Talent for negotiation
- Unshakable calmness
Could you be a great PM if you were missing a few of these skills? Possibly, but don’t count on it. If you want to be a PM, work on your weak areas and your stakeholders will have more respect for you.
All Projects are Unique
- Some projects are quick and completed in weeks
- Some projects last years
- Some projects get started only to end abruptly due to changes in business priorities
- There are more than a dozen methodologies for successfully managing projects
- Some projects do not fit into a typical format and require ingenuity
There are many different paths to the successful completion of a project. Not only do different companies use different tools, but most project managers deploy a unique set of tools for each project. For instance, some companies may rely heavily on Zoom video conferencing, while another might use #Slack channels (direct messaging) for a large part of their communication. Rather than trying to force a team to use what the PM wants, the PM will be flexible about using what works best for their client and the project.
Some Highlights of Being a PM
- At the end of the project you have accomplished something tangible that didn’t exist before
- Each project is different, even if it’s with the same team or tools
- Building a network of people who have the talent and expertise to help a project reach its goal
At Proper Connections, we have a team of smart, seasoned PMs who are passionate about their projects. If you don’t have the talent in-house to tackle a project, or your PMs are already deployed on other projects and you need an assist, contact us today. We’re ready to help make your next unique project a success!