Project Management Principles

Do you know what three project management principles will make your projects a SUCCESS?

Project Management PrinciplesProject Management Principles

Projects are complex. As a result, many people fall into the trap of thinking they need fancy tools or the latest PM methodology to make their projects successful.

It's possible these tools can help you. But if you don't understand project management fundamentals, these tools can do more harm than good.

However, if you apply these three principles of project management to your projects, you'll have a solid foundation in place that will magnify the benefits of any tool or process you use...

  • Be Clear
  • Maintain a Positive Attitude
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

If you apply these basic project management principles when you manage a project, you are sure to be a success!

Be Clear

One of the most important responsibilities of the project manager is to bring clarity to the project.

There are two aspects to this principle...

  • Focus
  • Direction

Focus is all about making sure the scope of the project is understood. This entails understanding what is included in the project and what isn't included in the project. Having a clear focus is a critical success factor.  Start by making sure you have a well defined project scope statement.

Direction is all about making sure that everyone on the project team is moving towards the same objectives. Once you have a clear focus, you can identify and prioritize the many tasks that need to be completed. This will enable you to provide clear direction for the project team to follow.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Effective project managers know how to use the power of positive thinking to get results.

Let's take a look at two areas where a positive attitude at work can have powerful results...

  • Relationships with People
  • Approach to Project Challenges

Project managers can only be successful through the achievements of the people on their team. As a result, your relationships with others are critical for your success. If you're always grumpy or complaining, nobody will want to be around you, much less help you. If you smile and treat others well, you are much more likely to get their full commitment on your project.

All projects have challenges. How you approach those challenges can determine whether your project sails through them or if it will sink. A positive, can-do attitude will not only help you solve the challenge, it will also help you find opportunities in the challenge.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

The importance of communication for project managers can't be emphasized enough.

As the project manager, two important communication activities you'll need to perform are...

  • Coordinating Project Activities
  • Keeping Stakeholders Informed

During the planning phase, you'll identify the tasks that need to be completed on the project as well as any constraints and dependencies on those tasks. During the execution phase, you'll have to coordinate all of the tasks by assigning them to the right person at the right time.

Communicating task assignments clearly is very important. Keep in mind, that when done correctly, the person who you assigned the task should feel comfortable enough to ask you questions and to even question the task itself.

Another major communication responsibility for the project manager is keeping stakeholders informed of the project status. Whether you have good news or bad news to convey, you should be communicating status frequently. Communicate often and communicate openly. If you do this, you will gain the trust of your project stakeholders.

Apply these three project management principles while managing your project and you will succeed.

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