Blog no. 9 – Ten mantras for successful project management

Don’t wish for it, work for it

Project management is all about making the project happen & to achieve the agreed objectives. It is a discipline of initiating, planning, executing, and managing resources with the goal of completing specific deliverables within the assigned budget and time.

And what’s challenging is – To keep pace with business and IT, project managers need to make their management practices more flexible.

But don’t worry !! I have been able to pen down the top 10 mantras which will help you to manage your projects effectively.

Word of caution :- A good plan will certainly help you, but it will never guarantee the smooth running of the project. Hence, these Mantras doesn’t guarantee you 100% success 😊

Mantra No. 1 :- Be Agile

Traditional project management methodologies are proving to be too rigid and time consuming for today’s dynamic business environment. Today, you need to respond with agility to rising issues and changes. The formal documentation and processes involved in traditional project management can weigh you down.

Mantra No. 2 :- Stop micromanaging !

The ideal project managers are leaders, not control freaks. Some project managers can be overly analytical and invest too much time in perfecting details, when they should really focus on achieving milestones and the completion of the project. Flexible project management requires a balance of both the left and right brain, hard and soft skills. Though it’s good to focus on being a perfectionist but P1 for us should be customer & objective.

A project is complete when it starts working for you rather than you working for it – Scott Allen

Mantra No. 3 :- Keep evolving

Technology is always evolving to meet the changing needs of users. In the same way, your approach to project management should evolve alongside business and IT processes. Communicate with your team, client, and business partners, as to how you can improve your project management practices. Now it’s your decision to either evolve or dissolve ☺️

Mantra No. 4 :- Real time planning

The single most important activity of project managers is planning. Planning must be detailed, organised, and require team participation. And like the real world, plans always change and reprioritise with situations. For this, plan, re-plan, and plan.

Expect the best, plan for the worst & prepare to be surprised – Denis Waitley

Mantra No. 5 :- Sense of Urgency

Wouldn’t it be great to work with an unlimited pool of time, money, and resources? Here on Earth, however, we have fixed 24 hours in a 7-day week, and we have been taught early on of the importance of spending within our means. Because projects are constricted with a set timeline, budget, and resources, it is of utmost importance that the project process is constantly being driven towards completion. Regular updates, meetings, and follow-ups are essential.

My team – When do you want this action to complete? Me – Now OR ASAP OR Deadline has passed already !! 😎

Learned this mantra from my experience; bring a sense of urgency & see the difference in your project performance. It works, try it out !

Mantra No. 6 :- Communicate all Project Deliverables and Activities

In short, the project manager and team must have a picture of the finished deliverables in the minds of everyone involved. This guides everyone in the same direction. Avoid vague descriptions at all costs, be specific, draw diagrams and pictures, and make certain everyone agrees with it.

Mantra No. 7 :- Step-by-Step

The thought of climbing a mountain in one go can be crippling. But to see it as a succession of steps and peaks is less intimidating and more achievable. In the same way, you don’t want to jump in a project with the intent of building all project deliverables at once. Work on each item step-by-step, get process reviews and approvals, and always maintain a sense of direction.

Mantra No. 8: – Effective Risk Management

Being a project manager, you need to be someone, who has a healthy dose of skepticism:

  • All team members (including you) should not hesitate to report concerns or challenges
  • Maintain a live project risk database that tracks all issues and resolutions (i.e. Risk Log)
  • Do not obsess. Assessing risks should not be your main priority. The last thing you want is to be wasting your time and resources on risk management, as it will prevent you from ever completing a project, let alone give you the courage to start it. Remember, you want a healthy dose of risk management, not a crippling one.

Please read my blog on 8 key benefits of effective project risk management :-

Mantra No. 9 :- Open Communication

Communication is vital in all aspects of project management. Adhere to a policy of open communication, encouraging all members to voice opinions and concerns. This cuts through waiting games and significantly reduces the risk of mistakes, saving you time and money.

Communication must HOTHonest, Open & Two-way

Mantra No. 10 :- 3 pillars

While project management practices have changed to be more flexible and open, the foundation remains the same. Project success occurs when it is delivered on time, within budget, with a level of deliverables that are satisfactory to the client. The project manager’s main role is to keep all team members aware of these big three – Time, Budget and Quality (Note: This will differ as per Org. Some follow – Time, Cost and Scope OR Time, Scope and Quality.

So, these were my 10 Mantras for successful project management. Try incorporating them & let me know your feedback. Also, do share your thoughts from your own personal experience.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you need any support (Details are available in the Get in touch section of my page) ..

And please check out my other articles as well & share your thoughts … 🙂 Thanks for your time. Keep reading & stay safe !

22 thoughts on “Blog no. 9 – Ten mantras for successful project management

Add yours

  1. Really good post, as a PM myself, a mantra I’ve always like is:
    “The plan is important, but the plan isn’t everything and should be used as a tool to drive the project forward”

    This was always a major learning curve for me as being a bit of a perfectionist I was obsessed with getting my projects to always run exactly to plan, viewing taking longer on something as failure!

    That mantra essentially just taught me to chill out and realise that the plan should be a lot more dynamic than I originally thought it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

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