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Lectura para foro

Autor: Jennifer Whitt ( derechos reservados)

Your first step as a Project manager
Hello. My name is Jennifer Whitt, Director of Well,
welcome to our whiteboard session today on good versus bad project
managers. Well, if youve been hanging around the water cooler or spending
some time online on some of the discussion groups for project managers,
this seems like a bar room brawl. Sometimes people look at things differently
on what really makes a good versus a bad project manager. So, what Im
going to do today is list 13 areas for you to evaluate of yourself.
So, the assumption is when we look at project management, I feel like if
youre a project manager, the principals of project management is an
assumption and its table steaks. Meaning for sure the baseline has to be
that you are using best practices, that you are using tools, that youre using
templates and have some type of project management training. So if this is
the baseline and this is table steaks, then lets look at some of the
seasonings, some of the special sauce that project managers do that make
them good versus bad.
Ive spent over 20 years studying project managers and team, what makes
them work, what makes them fail, what makes some project managers set
up to get those great projects and get the promotions. So, some of the things
Ive observed is just this is a few. This is not a comprehensive list. But
again its more areas to look at and look for yourself, How am I doing this?
Im always a proponent of finding people you think are really good project
managers and evaluate and assess for yourself what makes you think that
theyre so good and try to emulate some of the things that theyre doing. So,
here are some of the things that I think the good project managers do in
addition to the baseline of project management best practices.
Number one, professional development certifications, I find that the really
good project managers are constant learners. Theyre interested in learning.
Theyre constantly looking at how to better themselves. Theyre learning
about teams. Theyre learning about different ways to improve their baseline
skills and their interpersonal skills.
We all talk about the certifications. Weve seen examples of this all across
our organizations where you can see people who, they have all the
certificates on the walls and they have their certification but maybe theyre a
really bad project manager. So, weve all seen that, but I do still believe that
those who are good, the people on my list, are constant learners. They
invest in themselves and professional development and their certifications.
Number two, theyre conscious and aware. That meaning theyre conscious
of themselves, aware of themselves and others. Theyre always trying to set
their teams up for success and being aware, what are they really good at,
what they are bad at, recognizing when someone on the team is struggling
and needs support. Looking at maybe when someone is shut down or
maybe not providing information or being able to be conscious and aware of
the plan and what estimates people are providing that maybe doesnt seem
correct. So, its being in tune, being conscious, aware.
Number three, they have mentors and they have mentees. Learning is a
give and take, so for sure having people who have been there, done that
whether its technology youre learning, a subject area, maybe project
management that youre learning. But always have that person who has
been there, done that that you can learn from. Having mentees, Ive always
found and seen and experienced for myself when Im teaching someone
else, like a mentee, then Im learning. Im learning from them as well. So,
theyre learning from me. Im learning from them because they always
provide a different perspective. Again, learning is a give and take.
Relationships, good project managers believe in, and theyre really good at,
building and nurturing relationships, because relationships of the people
within our team and outside of our team thats the way we really get things
done. We know how critical the people are on our team, so the good project
managers are really good at building and nurturing relationships. Or if theyre
really bad at that, then they find their go-to people who do have those
relationships and they leverage those relationships.
Number five, social, online and offline, again, its great to be involved, not
only learning and seeing other peoples experience, but also giving and
taking best practices within the community. So, being social and active both
online and offline.
Number six, being mobile, project managers rarely sit at their desk. So, if a
project manager is sitting at their desk, theyre probably one of the bad ones
because that means theyre not interacting. Theyre not out and about.
Theyre maybe not meeting, collaborating, socializing with their team, or
maybe theyre stakeholders. So theyre mobile and being mobile is not just
being out. But its being effective at being on the go so theyre able to
correspond, communicate, respond effectively and promptly while theyre on
the go.
Number seven, available and responsive, but appropriately, so being
available for people. So if you are on the go, or if you are one of the project
managers who spend a lot of time at your desk, then youre available for
others to access you, to ask questions, give you input. Being responsive,
and not just ignoring emails, not ignoring calls, but actually returning emails
and phone calls promptly, but appropriately with boundaries.
Some people dont set the appropriate boundaries, so maybe they become
bad project managers because they cant get anything done because theyre
not good at setting boundaries, saying no, setting scheduled time to get
work done. And having appropriate systems in place for people to access
them and respond appropriately.
Number eight, collaborative, I feel like its really important for project
managers to collaborate with people so theyre getting input. Theyre getting
input. That doesnt mean necessarily that the input they take theyre going to
do, but to get different perspectives, not look at things from one perspective
which is their own. So, the really good project managers Ive seen
collaborate and take information from others.
Also, other good project managers Ive seen are decisive. They can take
information and they can make decisions. They can make them promptly,
appropriately, which goes into number ten, resolute, being resolute in getting
things done. So, making decisions is not necessarily getting things done, but
being resolute is. Good project managers get things done on their team by
being resolute. So whether they get them done or they, again, know their go-
to people and know how to get things done on their team.
Number 11, they communicate. They communicate effectively. They know
their team members. They know their stakeholders. They have a
communications plan set in place. They communicate effectively
themselves, whether its in language, having a strong, effective language.
Whether they give presentations, whether they send email, however they
communicate, they communicate effectively so that people know what
information theyre trying to get.
So, a good project manager communicates effectively to indicate what
information theyre trying to give others and more importantly what
information they need back. Thats a great communication feedback loop.
Number 12, they delegate. So, they know how to delegate appropriately. A
lot of times project managers have been promoted through the ranks so
maybe whatever area that they were in, which was their expertise, its kind of
difficult to get away from it. So, when they get promoted, they try to do the
old job plus the new job or maybe multiple jobs and theyre trying to do too
much. So the project manager becomes the bottle neck. Its important to
know how, when and to whom to delegate to effectively.
Number 13 is knowing how to lead teams and manage the projects and
know the different between. Because lot of times people try to manage the
team, manage the people, and people dont like to be managed. People like
to be led. They like for someone to set the vision, fuel the passion and if they
do that, if you can influence the team, then they will follow you.
Again, these are some of the areas that you can evaluate for yourself. This
is not a comprehensive list of the all. These are just some areas to think
about. These are some of the things that I commonly find that the good
project managers do that you can see for yourself. Again, check out the
people you think are good project managers. Make your own list and see
where you stack up between the good and the bad, and you add some little
seasoning and spice to the table steaks.
If youve evaluated yourself against these three areas or better yet made
your own list and now youre trying to add the seasoning to your table
steaks, then sign up for our software at Implement
some of the things that you can do to be a good project manager.

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