Is Project Management Right for You?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

It has been six years since exploring the topic of career development in my article entitled “Designing an IT Career Path.” Back in 2010, my focus was on IT career development. For 2016, I will turn my attention to the process of planning, developing and achieving a successful career in project management.

As I look back over my 30-plus years leading successful projects across a wide array of industries, it is evident to me that technical skills makes up only around 30% of a person’s success. Don’t get me wrong: You need credentials to get your foot in the door. But after that, you need a whole lot more.

Perhaps the No. 1 thing that is needed for success within any organization is the ability to get along with others; the ability to be thought well of by those you work with and report to. In fact, in my experience, your ability to be liked, thought well of and work well with others accounts for about 50% of your success. In project management, this might even represent 60% of your ability to be successful. This means you need to be able to:

  • Build relationships and grow trust. PMs that can garner and retain the trust of the organization’s stakeholders will go far. Forging productive relationships and being seen as trustworthy brings with it support. It opens doors and provides opportunities to…

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"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. "

- Thomas Jefferson

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