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Archive for November, 2007

What makes a good Project Manager?

Posted by Mike on 8th November 2007

I have confessed to my peers that it is hard to assess the effectiveness and performance of a project manager in our organization.  It is probably hard in other organizations too.  “On time” and “under budget” are hard to quantify on information technology projects.  Some may argue this point, but I find that no one really knows what a project will be when these two metrics are established.

I read an interesting post by Scott Berkun.  It is titled Are you a leader or a tracker?.  In it, Scott lists a group of questions to ask a project manager in order to understand what that person really does.  I summarize the questions into a couple key ideas.

  • “Professionalizing” project managers has left many of them without relevant, hands-on roles.  I am finding that information technology executives (CIO, CTO) are wanting more hands-on project managers.  In other words, PMs who have a deeper understanding of the projects they are tasked with completing.
  • Leading the team to the goal is more important than pushing them from behind.  If the focus is on tracking, what leadership value are you bringing?  It is easier to track.  (Hindsight is 20/20.)  Most teams need a leader who can put the next steps and the ultimate goal into better focus.

At the very least, if you are in a project management role, do a self-assessment using Scott’s questions.  Your answers may point you in a better direction that will increase your effectiveness and value.

Posted in Management & Business, Project Management, Software & Computers | No Comments »