Top Ten Quotes: Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager
I am neither a project manager nor the son of a project manager. (I’m more what you’d call an assistant to the regional project manager.) That said, at any given time in my role, I’m a part of at least a dozen projects, all with different timelines and objectives and needs.
And while most of those projects do have an official project manager – either by title or default – I’ve found that the best way I can be the best team player is to understand that PM’s role so that I better understand mine.
That’s why I was fascinated with (and helped by) Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood. True to its name, I don’t have to have the title to understand the role. And if there’s a project where I suddenly find myself the manager by default, there were a ton of goodies in here to help me keep that ball moving down the field.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- Project management is as much about effectively leading people as it is about skillfully managing a process.
- …informal authority means constantly and consistently clarifying both the specific and the overall expectations for your team members.
- Without project management discipline, we lose direction. We lack the map, the landmarks, the milestones—all the things that keep us on track.
- …projects fail because nobody’s clear about what to do…Lacking a clear, shared set of expectations, you could end up doing the wrong project. Or you could go way off the budget. Or you could miss the deadline.
- Projects attract controversy. Stakeholders will question each other, the approach you’re taking, the details of the project, costs, resources, timing—even the value of doing the project at all. All of this can be a very rich discussion as long as you are leading it effectively.
- Communication is 90 percent of a project’s success.
- …“the goal defines the team,” not the other way around. A common mistake is to assign whoever is available to the team instead of finding the right people for the job.
- …what does it take to execute successfully as a team? In a word: accountability. Successful project leaders practice accountability because it reinforces informal authority and ensures project success.
- …an excuse makes total sense to the person who makes it.
- Good control reveals problems early—which means you’ll have longer to worry about them.
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