Much of a project manager’s role deals with short-term thinking, such as day-to-day tasks. But that is in the process of changing, and managers are likely to start spending more time with teams, developing leadership, and focusing on planning for longer term goals. However, day-to-day tasks still have to be managed, and leaders can’t be ignorant about these aspects of a business.
Realistically, the majority of what makes a project successful is the leadership and the skills they bring to the table. Building a solid team and having a reputable approach to projects is important, but vision, communication, and effective leadership shoulder most of the responsibility for a project’s success.
Today’s PMO leaders can drive their companies forward by making sure fundamental aspects of the business are in place. For example:
- Establishing certain methodology as standard practice
- Setting up prioritization guidelines
- Ensuring monitoring processes are effective
- Being attentive to success factors such as cost and quality
- Centralizing information about project management practices
But project managers should also be thinking about where they can get the most investment back for their time. Once the fundamentals are set, project managers can adjust their vision to focus on their leadership roles.
Fortunately, as a project leader, you can delegate to your team, and decide how you can spend your time to drive the most change. Some valuable uses of your time are:
- Facilitating processes so that skilled staff can work flexibly within common practices
- Communication and decision-making that make it so the right projects are prioritized
- Dialoguing with workers about obstacles in their work days, and taking steps to address those obstacles
- Prioritizing conversations about priorities
- Assessing talent gaps and acknowledging talent, and working to address places where there are holes
- Evaluating risks
- Facilitating a culture of reporting the truth
While it’s a big leap to go from focusing on the day-to-day to spending most of your time thinking about long-term goals, it’s important to start considering how you could make long-term vision part of your role as a project manager. What structures in your organization need to change for you to be able to shift your attention?
This content was originally published by PM Perspectives, TwentyEighty Strategy Execution’s PM Perspectives Blog.
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