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Topics: IT Project Management, Leadership, Talent Management
What is the "Project Mindset"
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I have used this term for decades, especially when I conduct interviews for project team members. For some, this is a nefarious code-word, for others, it’s a philosophy whose days are numbered and for most, it has no meaning outside of its face-value.

What does this phrase mean to you - Is it a positive or a negative statement - what is its relationship to waterfall, agile and lean practices?
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Hi George, for me the phrase is a positive statement, it means thinking with a mindset that puts into consideration Cost, Time, Scope and quality with the focus of systematic and analytical approach
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I like Seif's description. In contrast, in my experience activities lacking a project mindset are characterized by people acting before proper problem analysis or planning is performed. This usually results in lots of wasted effort and rework.
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I've used that phrase often enough, and to me it only has positive connotation. In my humble opinion, anyone can have or develop a "project mindset", even those in purely clerical roles, as having it means that one is adaptive to changes in one's business environment and willing to respond to its consequent challenges. This mindset also implies that one is able to learn on demand.
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The Project Mindset should evolve over the course of your career as you go through various projects lifecycle of various budgets size, scope, duration and complexity. So the project mindset is the approach that you take, apply and follow through on to deliver a project according to the project documentation. The approach you took to your first ever project should be different, that being more revised, clinical and appropriate to the last project that you delivered. This comes with experience and shapes your Project Mindset so that you can impart this knowledge to other so that they can develop their own Project Mindset.
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For me, it is a positive statement. Members with "Project Mindset" will know how to communicate with, to work in collaboration with others to achieve project goal and react properly in projectized environment. In relationship to waterfall, agile and lean practices, I think, there is big difference and people need to experience to gain knowledge and skills in order to work properly as we see in agile projects.
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While any skill can be learned (some better than others) some are just better adapt to certain ones. For me, a project mindset is positive because it is basically a term to describe a planning approach to something. Some people are just naturally planners and they carefully plan out everything they do no matter if it packing lunch or mowing the lawn. It is the same concept as let us say an analytical mindset where we tend to analyze things before making a decision. These concepts as Kamran pointed out are used by everyday people having nothing to do with PM or BA.
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In the realms I have been engaged in, the “project mindset” refers to the idea that one will “do whatever it takes to get the job done.” In other words, if the project hits a hurdle and the PM calls “all hands-on deck”, the resources will concede to work the extra hours required, even to the extent that it is disruptive to personal life.

Anyone else experienced this version of the “project mindset”?
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1 reply by Anton Oosthuizen
Jul 16, 2019 12:50 AM
Anton Oosthuizen
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I always cringe when I see the phrase "do whatever it takes to get the job done". That "whatever" normally becomes a problem in that team members are expected to do things (sometimes unethical) that they would not normally do just to be considered team players. So in that context, I think it is a negative thing.
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My experience with project mindsetting is very much about the fact that it is temporary and above and beyond day-to-day operations.

I've only once had an "all hands-on deck" situation and I quickly learned those who adjusted and those who did not. Needless to say, I kept the former ones on my projects and stayed away from the latter.
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With all my due respect is a big mistake. We need to understand we are solution oriented not process oriented. And project belongs to process component inside the solution.
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1 reply by George Freeman
Jul 15, 2019 11:09 AM
George Freeman
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Hi Sergio, are you responding to a specific comment or making a statement in general? Can you provide more information?
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Jul 15, 2019 10:15 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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With all my due respect is a big mistake. We need to understand we are solution oriented not process oriented. And project belongs to process component inside the solution.
Hi Sergio, are you responding to a specific comment or making a statement in general? Can you provide more information?
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jul 15, 2019 12:00 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Is in response to your post about "Project Mindset".
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