Friday, May 18, 2018

Welcome the New Project Manager!


According to CIO.com, the six traits of highly effective project managers are:
  1. Be a strategic business partner who can offer higher-level strategic leadership skills, not just technical management skills, provide significant advantages for organizations of all sizes.
  2. Encourage and recognize valuable contributions because a project leader’s effectiveness is strongly impacted by the contributions of others on his or her team.
  3. Respect and motivate stakeholders using an ability to communicate with and influence a variety of stakeholders. You must demonstrate respect for team members, stakeholders, and sponsors at all times if you are to receive their respect in turn.
  4. Be fully vested in success and believe in the work you are doing and be completely involved in all professional aspects of the project, its activities, and its people.
  5. Stress integrity and accountability. Being accountable for your decisions and actions is vital, and sends a strong message to the rest of the team.
  6. Be able to work in the gray because this is what truly sets a project manager apart. This is a must-have skill since the majority of projects, regardless of type, industry, size, or complexity, will have gray areas that need to be navigated at some point.


A vital component of all of these straits is an ability to communicate both up the chain to superiors and down the chain to your team. In short, successful project management is about successful teamwork.  Teamwork starts with the project manager recognizing that “Job #1” is knowing the people and blending their styles.  This task can be very challenging given the broad societal demographics and cultural variations.  Just in looking at the different generations that may exist in a team, work ethic and values across multiple generations must be addressed from the very beginning of a project. 

Figure 1- Workplace Characteristic Comparative

For a project manager, this challenge often manifests itself through inordinate amounts of time spent on administrative tasks and poor or unproductive meetings.  These symptoms may also lead to the perception of failure or professional stagnation within the team.


Graphic Courtesy Instapage
To avoid this trap, managers should focus on team enablement that also respects personal differences and goals. This path values:
  • Creativity through the use of office spaces optimized for focusing, creating, and collaboration
  • Productivity through the use of secure, reliable access to essential tools and information, regardless of location or device; and
  • Satisfaction through the recognition and celebration of different goals and value frameworks

Good project managers can also discover and create business value by eliminating the need for physical proximity while simultaneously embracing the importance of human connection. Tools like WebEx Teams accomplish this by taking the pain out of both physical and virtual meetings through the use of intuitive voice interaction and collaborative features no matter where your team members may be. These capabilities also make it easier for distributed teams to exchange ideas and collaborate through shared digital whiteboards and chat. This approach addresses modern workers’ ability to work from wherever they can contribute the most value.

By automating mundane meeting components and optimizing the mobile experience of remote  team members, the exceptional project manager reinvents project management by taking advantage of today’s advance communication channels. This will, in turn, create unprecedented value for the team and the entire organization

This post is brought to you by Cisco and IDG. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Cisco.







Cloud Musings
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