BY RIANA, MY JOB GLASSES MENTOR & PROGRAM MANAGER
Project management skills are almost vital for companies. However, the image of the Project Manager has not always been so positive: initially fragmented and indiscriminately carried out by various collaborators, the tasks of the Project Manager have long been considered worthless. Until recently, this profession was seen as a default path or an “accidental” orientation.
Fortunately, times have changed: today, one no longer becomes a Project Manager by default, by chance or by the will of one’s boss. Today, one becomes a project management professional by training and by choice.
PROJECT-BASED ORGANISATION: A MUST FOR COMPANIES
This rapid evolution is due to the awareness of companies regarding the incredible productivity levers represented by the “project” organisation. The transition to a cross-functional organisation was accompanied by the obvious emergence of the Project Manager’s job, this specific function becoming a must for the success of an organisation. With demand far from drying up – there is even talk of an “international shortage” of management professionals – the Project Manager profession has therefore a bright future.
It is likely that the few companies which have not yet integrated this project management culture will quickly realise that, in such a competitive world, training employees in the standards of international management and inculcating this culture throughout the organisation is no longer an option but a necessity.
THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY
Guides to good practices within the legal, accounting or medical professions are quite common, and project management is no exception. There are several specialised models of project management such as:
- SAFe SCRUM
- Prince 2
- Six Sigma
And this is just a non-exhaustive list!
For a project management method to work, it has to be embedded in the DNA of the organisation and not just in the DNA of the project managers (that would be of little use). It also needs to be understandable and inclusive for all employees, especially for senior managers.
The role of Project Manager, still sometimes considered as an administrative activity, has become a real science of organisation calling on the different teams as much as on the individual ideas of each person.
HOW TO AVOID PROJECT MANAGEMENT FAILURES?
One of the main factors for project management failure is the lack of experience and culture in project management on the part of an organisation and/or its Project Manager. Another factor is the critical lack of methodology or the application of an inappropriate methodology to the organisation.
Today, projects management allows no improvisation since this approach has largely shown its limits: today’s projects know no boundaries and involve resources and stakeholders from all over the world. A methodology must therefore be established. Although methodology cannot solve all sorts of problems either, it increases the chances of project success significantly.
LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT: WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL QUALITIES TO SUCCEED?
The Project Manager is responsible of the budget, deadlines and success of the project. Decisions related to these topics cannot be improvised. The PM must also be able to build and manage a team, resolve conflicts, negotiate with suppliers, manage customer relations, present strategic decisions to his/her own managers… For international projects, the Project Manager must also take into account cultural specificities between the various stakeholders.
Demetrius the Cynic used to say of ignorant fools: “whether they talk or fart, it’s the same thing”. When it comes to national or international projects, let’s say their outcome will depend on the PM’s culture. Stakeholder management is also an art, especially if the stakeholders are of different nationalities.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: A POSITION WHERE FREEDOM REIGNS?
I have worked all over the world as a Project Manager, and I can confirm that it is one of the most open and exciting jobs there is! It’s a time-consuming profession, but also really fun and fulfilling for those who are passionate about it. When you have just delivered a project, when the adrenaline starts to drop just after the thrilling acceleration, at that very moment, you get a feeling of euphoria, you know that your mission has been accomplished. I wish every Project Manager to experience the same thing.
A successful life is none other than a life lived according to our wishes, always acting in accordance with our values and aspirationss, giving the best of ourselves in what we undertake while being loyal to who we are. This is what this wonderful profession has allowed me to do!
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