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How Bold Leaders Can Leverage Project Management Strategies Toward Success

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With globalization pressures and expansion over the last several years, the need to better manage resources has increased. Organizations and businesses must take greater care in ensuring their actions related to these resources align well with overall goals. As such, there has been an expanding demand for high-quality project managers and effective project management strategies. But for many business leaders, developing project management skills may seem foreign. Despite having many of the necessary talents, they may lack the overall organizational and conceptual insights to excel. Fortunately, gaining these abilities and improving as a project manager is well within reach. With a deeper appreciation of project management in general and project experience, bold business leaders can use these tools to their advantage. With this in mind, the following provides an overview of some of the key insights regarding project management strategies that any business leader should know.

(What goes into being a bold leader? Of course Bold Business breaks it down here. Of course.)

“Every business requires some level of project management, especially in our increasingly remote world. This is why project managing has become such an in-demand profession across industries, from construction to healthcare to IT.” – Jenny Karn, CEO of Lumino

An Overview of Key Project Management Strategies

In general, a project is defined as any work that requires multiple skills, has budget restraints, and has a timescale. Thus, project management in simplistic terms involves effectively planning and overseeing the components of such a project. Understanding this, there are well-recognized phases of project management. These involve defining and imitating the project, developing a comprehensive project plan, and assembling a team required for success. It also requires implementing the plan while monitoring and controlling for deviations. Finally, project managers are tasked with closing the project and performing a post-project evaluation. For those developing project management skills, these are the core activities to master.

Of course, success requires that proven project management strategies be employed during these phases. For example, both timelines and project scopes must be well established from the beginning. Errors in either can significantly undermine a project’s success while depleting resources and efficiency. Projects must also adhere to budgets since exceeding financial resources will also increase risks. Finally, even those with the best planning abilities will experience unforeseen and unpredictable events along the way. Therefore, it is essential to also have exceptional problem-solving skills and approaches. Naturally, developing project management skills requires experience in this regard. But much can be gained by simply investing time and energy in anticipating events and in comprehensive planning.

“[A project manager] must be organized, personable, a good listener, communicator, and coordinator. They must ask questions but really listen to what people are telling them and be flexible.” – David Armitage, Project Manager, The Health Informatics Service

Avoiding Common Project Management Pitfalls

Part of the journey in developing project management skills pertains to avoiding common mishaps. There are several that highly effective project managers appreciate, but each can be minimized with effective project management strategies. One of the common issues involve poor communications. Not only can projects be sabotaged by ineffective information sharing among the team. But likewise, information overload, especially through emails and texts, and clog up communication streams. In this regard, it is important to utilize project management platforms to better organize and streamline project discussions. Slack is one company that offers such solutions that many project managers utilize.

Another important issue to avoid in project management is scope creep. Scope creep simply refers to an ever-increasing task list that develops as the project progresses because of additional requests. Instead of closing the project and moving ahead, scope creep occurs and drains resources while negatively affecting timelines and budgets. In an effort to avoid this, developing project management skills that define project scope in detail at the beginning is essential. This requires identifying all key stakeholders and collecting their feedback and approval of the project plan. Likewise, documenting deviations in the project scope along the way provide opportunities to hold stakeholders accountable. Some scope creep will likely still occur, but these project management strategies can help.

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Project management strategies are a vital component of bold leadership–do you know any of these strategies?

The other important task in developing project management skills involves problem-solving talents. Many business leaders are adept at this, and therefore, this skillset may already exist. But effective project management strategies in this regard may also help. Because many problems related to a project can time-sensitive, it’s important to remain calm and to maintain perspective. This can reduce emotional decision-making and encourage more rationale choices. Similarly, having a network of professionals for support can also lead to better decision-making. This along with subsequent follow-up to ensure an issue was resolved are proven project management strategies that work. And by employing these techniques, it’s inevitable better project management abilities will develop.

“Project managers are front and center from the very beginning. We facilitate the writing of business cases and we’re there through every stage of a project’s lifecycle. It’s like writing the song, the music, playing it, getting a record deal, and releasing it!” – Julie Howson, Project Management Office Manager, The Health Informatics Service

Leverage Leadership Toward Project Success

There is no question that project managers are responsible for a number of managerial tasks. But without leadership abilities, project managers are not likely to realize their potential. Project management strategies inherently require leadership talents that range from team motivation to role modeling and stakeholder engagement. They similarly inspire team innovation and creativity while providing a unifying vision. And they must also hold project members accountable for their defined roles and tasks. Understanding this, it’s evident that developing project management skills is in part synonymous with leadership talent acquisition as well.

From this perspective, most business leaders enjoy these same talents, which aids them in developing project management skills. In essence, this allows them to have a head start on others who have yet to acquire these capacities. As such, business leaders can focus on refining other areas and project management strategies. By doing so, they will become increasingly proficient in their abilities to see projects to successful completion. And as more projects become successful, so will their organization. This is why developing project management skills is needed in the business world today. And those who appreciate this and take action accordingly will be the same businesses likely to thrive in the future.

 

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