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  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on January 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Project Direction, ,   

    The Skill Set of a Project Manager (Part 2) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In the first part of this article, we talked about the three skill areas a good project manager has to develop. Ultimately, managing a project is an art based in the application of a series of scientific knowledge. The art consists in applying our knowledge, experience and skills in an adequate manner at the right moment, and even though there is no guarantee to the success of the project, it allows us to reduce the risk of failure.

    Thus we must maximize/develop some key skills: 

    • Communication. Clear and effective communication is fundamental for all project managers. Not only is it important to communicate what (the level of detail used and the perspective), but also how (which mediums we are going to use) and when (choose the time when such communication will be made). Additionally, make sure the person on the receiving end has received and understood what you wanted to communicate, whereby the feedback becomes a base element as a means to avoid misunderstanding and incomprehension.
    • Negotiation. With any project there may be mixed and even conflicting expectations, which becomes relevant in negotiation skills as a way of aligning the expectations of the participants with the objectives of the project.
    • Solutions to problems. A project manager must be proactive, anticipating possible problems that may affect the success of the project (risks) and develop plans to minimize or avoid their impact. However, ultimately, if the problem has not been avoided, it must have the capacity to manage such situations efficiently. A project manager should be decisive, able to take responsibility and engage others in the project. (More …)
     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Project Direction, ,   

    The Skill Set of a Project Manager (Part 1) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In the previous article, we focused on emphasizing the importance of the role of Project Managers, and what their main functions are, but what makes a good project manager? Directing/leading a project is something more than just running a set of activities. Instead, it requires having different specific skills such as technician or project specialist that may be needed.

    When it is time to manage/direct a project, the manager should:

    • Plan the work/activities that must be done in order to reach the objectives of the project and accomplish the expectations of the client.
    • Organize all of the elements (resources) that interact throughout the life of a project. This activity will require the project manager to provide a certain level of authority within the organization.
    • Manage the people, whether they are clients, users, project team members, etc… and definitely stakeholders. Projects are done by people and the objectives are not always shared or understood in a correct way.
    • Direct and Lead. Leading is something more than just commanding or giving orders. A good leader forms a part of the team that he/she is leading, and he/she is not an “external agent” who merely establishes goals to achieve and a task to execute. The leader is involved with the team itself.
    • Control/Monitor the project that is developing under the established plan and, if not, define the necessary corrective measures.

    (More …)

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Project Direction, ,   

    The Importance of a Project Manager 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    One of the first activities to address at the hour of pulling out a project is to name the project manager. The role of this person is key for he/she will be in charge of coordinating/leading all the aspects related to the project. 

    In many projects, I have been able to see that there is not just one person responsible for making decisions, but the responsibility is diluted between distinct people in charge of different aspects of the project: technology, law, functions, and business.

    Specific managers in specific fields within a project is not bad, but there must always be one particular person wit the capacity to make decisions: to resolve conflicts, to select different options, to coordinate distinct parts of a project, to communicate, etc. It is what is called accountability: a sole person who has the total/essential responsibility of the project.

    Another aspect that calls my attention in many projects is the manager has a marked technical character. This happens a lot in high technology projects where the Project Director is often worried of low level aspects and where project management function is performed by a technician of the team as a reporting activity.

    What is the Project Manager’s function? Does he/she have to dedicate time to technical activities? 

    I rely on PMBok®: “The project director concentrates on the specific objectives of the project“. It must be planned what to do, keep track of how it’s running, make decisions to correct issues, inform stakeholders involved, etc.

    The project manager plays a key role in coordinating all the resources of a project. 

    (More …)

     
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