By: Randall L. Englund
Success in any environment largely depends upon completing successful projects, and successful projects get done by skilled project managers and teams, supported by effective project sponsors. That depends upon building the Right Set of Skills for Greater Project Success. The integration of knowledge and skills makes the difference in achieving optimized outcomes. A Complete Project Manager integrates key people, team, business, technical, and organizational skills. It becomes possible to apply an organic analog from molecular chemistry and share insights, experiences, and examples intended to motivate action towards embracing an integrated approach to the complete project manager mindset.
While many professionals develop their craft through advanced education and on the job experiences, there comes a time when an enhanced skill set and a new perspective about working with people is necessary to advance to the next level of performance. How do you move beyond this plateau? We suggest a holistic approach to open eyes, minds, … and doors, so that changed thinking can be applied immediately within each organizational environment. The “right” set of skills to achieve “completeness” depends on individual starting points, aptitude, attitude, desires, and supporting context.
Many people are not aware of the need for them to change their thinking and how this mindset inhibits their performance. In time it becomes necessary to adopt, adapt, and apply a different approach, leading to more consistent, timely, and quality results. This can happen because project managers apply necessary leadership, influence, sales, and negotiating skills that had previously been overlooked or underapplied. With the conscious application of these skills, project managers get recognized through achieving business outcomes that had before now eluded them. The goal is to achieve greater levels of personal satisfaction and professional advancement.
The missing ingredients that will move professionals from good to great are the next generation of skills, mindsets, and processes that transform your performance as a project manager or sponsor. To become a more Complete Project Manager means integrating key people, team, business, technical, and organizational skills. Develop the leadership, learning, means and motivation (L2M2) to advance both personally and professionally.
The PMI SeminarsWorld® session on “Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager” offers the opportunity for participants to share insights, experiences, attitudes, examples, stories and passion to motivate action. Now being offered virtually, participants immediately begin to apply these practices up, across, and down the organization, especially in politically charged situations. The goal is to assess and then integrate the knowledge and skills that make the difference in achieving optimized outcomes, increased satisfaction and bottom-line results. Close the talent gap between what is possible and what actually can be accomplished. This becomes real through a complete project manager mindset that is applied regularly, focused on integrating concepts and skills to create value.
My belief is that all leaders need to create healthy environments for people to consistently and sustainably achieve project success. Sponsors can do a better job of guiding and supporting project teams, and project managers can expand their people skills. My approach includes the behavioral, technical, business, leadership, influence, negotiation, political, conflict and change management aspects that create an environment for project success. The goal is to get greater, optimized results from projects underway or contemplated in the organization. An organic approach learns from nature and implements project, program, and portfolio management through tapping the inherent power of people to work in harmony, have fun, and be more productive. My co-facilitator (and co-author) is Alfonso Bucero. Alfonso believes in and demonstrates passion, persistence, and patience as his motto for everything in life. We bring complementary styles, experiences, and insights that we thoroughly enjoy sharing with others. Both of us come from practitioner backgrounds and now work with project professionals in all industries and functional areas, world-wide. Our goal is to create the right environment to “grow” people to produce their best work.
Completeness taps your passion, persistence and patience. Achieving outstanding projects and organizational skills requires passionate belief in your project. That takes time and dedicated effort. A complete project manager needs to persist, much like an infectious mosquito, to all project stakeholders and use your patience to get those results.
In contrast, many or perhaps most of us are incomplete when it comes to skills that lead to consistent project successes. As a consequence, project failures are all too common. We suffer from missed deadlines, insufficient resources and support, missed commitments, surprises, unhappy team members and customers, career stagnation, unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, perhaps even depression. We think we are doing our job, after all, we were trained as professionals, but we appear myopic and blind to the bigger picture. Struggles are all too common. We are victims of politics, disappointed that our ideas are not accepted, and do not get others on our side. Strategic goals are a foreign concept. No wonder we are stuck on a plateau. We often feel incomplete because of our continuous desire to improve. We strongly believe that continuously moving forward needs to be cultivated by every project manager.
There is hope. When operating in our strengths, regardless of being introverted or extroverted, quiet or loud, we can get along with others, share the credit, and complement each other. When we pair up with people and team members who possess complementary strengths and skills, we become more complete. Opposites can thrive in exquisite harmony.
It seems that the only constant thing in our society during the 21st century is change—technical changes, paradigm shifts, project manager behavioral changes. We need always to be ready to change. We can do so because of a belief that all of us are excellent. Today is a wonderful day to start; if you dedicate time and effort to open your mind and face new possibilities, tomorrow will be even better.
This organic molecule serves as an assessment tool and a summary of the complete project manager skillset:
We look forward to interacting with like-minded individuals to engage in continuous learning and productivity. Join us at SeminarsWorld®