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11 Expert Tips For Successful Project Management

Posted by Indusa Admin on October 17, 2016 11:54 am

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Ask three different people, “What makes a great project manager?” and you’ll get three different answers.


Project management can be a complex task with many different moving parts. You must maintain ownership of a project from start-to-finish, make sure your team is on-task and on-time, and alleviate concerns of stakeholders – all while putting out fires along the way!


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Whether this is your first time managing a project, or you’re a certified project management professional (PMP), we reached out to project management experts and asked them the question:

“What are the secrets to success to be a great project manager?”

Here’s what they had to say…

RickThe secret to success is learning how to communicate with the different styles of people.  Understanding different personalities, what motivates them, and how they like to be heard is crucial.  I suggest really investing in understanding DISC, Personality Poker, Strength Finder, or whatever system makes you comfortable in identifying and utilizing these techniques.

Rick A. Morris, radio host, motivational speaker, author of Project Management That Works.

Elizabeth HarrinA key factor for your success as a project manager will be your ability to understand the business you work in. Project management is no longer about ticking boxes to say that a task is complete, but more about making sure that you are delivering change that makes a positive difference. That means applying business sense and professional judgment to everything you do and framing your project work as a way of adding value; even though that just sounds like buzzwords.

Elizabeth Harrin, founder of A Girl’s Guide To Project Management

Gerald-LeonardDevelop a project management framework that is flexible, whether you’re using a waterfall or agile process. It needs to be streamlined; allowing projects to be delivered consistently, but the idea is not just to focus on the process. The focus is on projects delivering business value as quickly and efficiently as possible, in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.

Gerald J. Leonard, author of “Culture Is The Bass: 7 Principles for Developing A Culture That Works,” President & CEO of Principles of Execution

Susanne MadsenMany PMs still think that because they are responsible for planning, they have to do it all on their own! Nothing could be further from the truth. Good project leaders plan collaboratively. They gather people in a workshop style meeting and get the sticky notes out and build a milestone plan together that can be expanded upon. Not only is it fun and creates a better quality plan – it also engages the team and makes people feel accountable for their individual tasks.

Susanne Madsen, leadership coach, trainer and consultant. She is the author of The Project Management Coaching Workbook and The Power of Project Leadership.

Chris DanielProject managers should not stop at a PMP certification. It’s only the gateway to a better life. It opens up the doors to better salaries, positions, and networks. It should be leveraged at all times, as an employee, consultant, entrepreneur, and all of the above!

Chris Daniel, PMP and author of 26 Days To Project Management Certification

It is easy to remember the ‘PM’ in PMP but to be a great project manager you need to remember the last P – ‘Professional’ You are, in everything you do – each meeting, call, interaction, report – a professional, Peter Taylorwith standards and proven experience, on a continuous learning path. Ask yourself, why do you hire a professional for your personal needs? Because it is a secure low risk option to engage someone who brings to your problem or need vast capability and depth of experience. Go practice that in your own projects.

Peter Taylor, author, speaker, and founder of The Lazy Project Manager

Anthony SherickA project is never as simple as it first sounds but it’s probably not as complicated either. Learn to let the small things go. Pick your battles and win the war. No project will ever go completely to plan, and the plan is not your project, it’s a road map to guide you along the way. So be prepared to change direction, listen and be flexible to achieve the original objective.

Anthony Sherick, MD., director of TechnoJobsGroup

Ryan ChanTo be successful in project management you absolutely have to be an excellent planner. Do you enjoy visualizing the road ahead, obstacles to overcome, and any roadblocks that could come up? 

Ryan Chan, founder and CEO, UpKeep Maintenance Management

Don’t waste your time getting a PMP if you are looking for a job. Get a PMP if you are looking to apply the knowledge into transforming your life (including your career). You can Connor Pierce.jpguse the knowledge within PMBOK to either apply the simple mechanics of the tools to manage projects and never achieve happiness, or you can embrace the knowledge capable of setting your imagination free and applying the tools provided to achieve a wealth of success in all aspects of your life. How you intend to apply a PMP is what you need to ask yourself before you sign up. 

Connor Pierce, PMP, author of Transforming Your Life: A Step-By-Step Guidebook to Personal Success

Kevin LonerganIf you are looking to take PMP, never short-cut the revision – it’s a big syllabus. Terminology is critical to doing well in the exam. Use multiple sources to help you revise (e.g. study groups and training material that suits your learning needs).  Use as many good practice papers as you can find – it may be a long time since you last did any kind of exam. 

Kevin Lonergan, Principal Consultant: Project Management Training, PMIS Consulting

Michelle TaylorNever underestimate the power of asking the people impacted what they want from the project, even if you think you know what they need. Your project will be infinitely more successful if they feel you have listened and they have been heard in the design process. This can change you from needing to push out your project, to it being pulled for implementation by the users.

Michelle Taylor, Managing Director & Founder, Ignitis

Bonus tip – Invest in project management software!

Now that you have advice from the experts on how to be a successful project manager, it’s vital to invest in technology to keep your projects, resources, and teams organized and on track.

Microsoft’s Project Professional allows project managers to schedule efficiently, manage resources, and make smart decisions, all while easily planning and collaborating on projects from virtually anywhere.

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