Posted by: kerrywills | January 31, 2014

Focus on the Fundamentals

There are so many people who have the title “project manager” yet so many of them don’t do the basics. I am not talking about making stunning presentations, influencing senior management, leading difficult teams….I literally mean the basics…

  • Keeping plans updated with the right dates, % complete, and owners
  • Sending a status to stakeholders to inform them of progress and what is coming up
  • Following up on open items, action items, issues and risks – often these don’t get documented, maintained or the dates go past with no update
  • Knowing the details of the projects they are managing

If project managers aren’t on top of the fundamentals, then the project team won’t have the direction, organization and communications required to be successful. I recognize that projects can be complex and people get their calendars filled with meetings, but I am also adamant that without focusing on these basics that a project has a low chance of success. Therefore we need to recognize the challenges in doing the basics – if it is time, then consider adding a resource to manage open items or look to delegate work.  PMs are the quarterback for their team so they can’t say that they don’t have time to call plays, tell the receivers where to go or hold on to the football because “they are too busy playing the game.”

I am not sure what some people think it means to be a project manager but lets get back to fundamentals! Well at least the “fun” part and not the “mental” part.


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