By: Jennie Fowler, Global Director, Project Management Office | 08/16/2021 |

Project Management can be a tough role.  You can find yourself being pulled in many different directions and tackling changes…. all while trying to keep the team focused on the goal and desired outcomes.  Given these demands, here’s what we are doing over the coming months at Percepta to adapt habits to be the best project managers.

  1. Focus on the Customer
    All projects have customers. Projects may be internal or external or a combination of both. The best project managers keep customers at the top of mind. They listen well, accept feedback they receive and look for ways to incorporate.
  2. Communication / Understanding
    Good project managers understand the need to communicate and consult. However, the best project managers ensure the communication is understood. My two cents here… PMI should rebrand “Communication Plan” to “Understanding Plan”.  Ie:  Just because it has been published – does not mean others understand it!
  3. Focus on Outcomes
    Projects have the potential to have many stakeholders, all of which will see their items as being the most important. A challenge the best project manager responds to…. is finding solutions that address issues without negative impact. Problem-solving and managing constraints is an essential part of managing projects. Those that excel as project managers have a mindset where they focus on finding solutions to problems and overcome blockers.
  4. Lead from the Front
    Project managers are to lead by example. The example set determines how the rest of the team responds to the challenges that arise. Project managers who encourage openness and honesty are typically self-aware. There is also a level of taking risks and learning from mistakes…. empowering others to do the same.
  5. Adapt to Tomorrow
    We can set out the best plans around the globe, plan for risks, have great tracking in place and the unknowns will show up every time! The bottom line is that skilled project managers establish processes upfront to address these changes. This way, you can respond with the voice of experience rather than a reactive one. Adaptability is a key characteristic of the best project managers.
  6. Teamwork
    Project Managers cannot do it all on their own! The ability to recognize the importance of the collective team is how to achieve results. The ability to find and utilize the strengths in your team = rock star status. These Project Managers keep the team motivated and push the boundaries to get results.

Uncertainty is an inherent part of ALL projects. Change did not just appear on the scene with the recent pandemic; it has always been present. How organizations respond to change is adaptability; that trait is also known as “adaptive thinking” in the best project managers. The above can be useful for any leader at any organization. Start to work on these 6 habits to rise to your best level!  Enjoy!