In Article 1, we put forward our view that project management is not common sense. We also said that creating a “common sense” on projects was important for project success.
Project Management is about getting everyone on the same page and going in the same direction. Trying to maintain that through organisational restructures, team changes, time constraints, budget challenges, and changing priorities is hard for every project manager and project team.
The first person that needs to be clear on the direction and end goal is you. Then you need to create that common SENSE:
S is for Simplicity. Keep your communication simple and short. If you can summarise it in 3 bullet points it is quicker to say and easier to share.
E is for Efficiency. Everyone needs time to listen and digest. Help create time by managing workloads, e.g. don’t ask for things at the last minute or asks for a slide deck “just in case”.
N is for Neutrality. Keep your head, keep perspective, and don’t get frustrated. Everyone is starting from a different place and needs support. Keeping calm, inwardly and outwardly, sets you apart.
S is for Straight-talking. You cannot achieve consensus without open discussion. Sometimes you need to be brave, you always need to be honest, and you should never be afraid to speak up.
E is for Engagement. There will be many, and sometimes conflicting, views. Respect the opinions of others, seek to understand, and use patience and diplomacy to create consensus.
It’s not easy and you will need to do it from before the project starts until after the project ends. But we believe that if you can get everyone going in the same direction it really does increase the likelihood of success.
In our next article, “I’ve started so I’ll finish” we’ll be discussing how initiating, running, and then getting a project over the line require different skills and not everyone has all of them.