Where There’s Disaster, There’s Opportunity

Where There’s Disaster, There’s Opportunity

All projects have one thing in common – at some point, they come to an end.

Unfortunately, according to data from CIO magazine, the ending for many IT projects is not particularly good. The magazine reports that an estimated one-half of IT projects fail and that about 17 percent fail so badly, they threaten to put their organization of out of business.

The culprits behind those failures? Lack of resources, inadequate staffing, confusing and shifting requirements, and the poor design and use of technology.

But, whatever the reason, it generally boils down to one thing: poor project management.

All to say – there is a very high demand for good IT project managers. If you are looking for ways to bolster your career, this is an area of competence that you simply can’t ignore.

Did I say that good IT project managers are in high demand? Well, then just think what that means for people who are considered to be great project managers.

Do you have the “right stuff” to be an IT project manager?

As a precursor to the book: “Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know that Everyone Else Does Not,” a study of 860 project managers was conducted. From that study comes the top 10 traits of project managers who get it done as reported by David Baker on 99u.com.

  1. Command authority naturally. In other words, they don’t need borrowed power to enlist the help of others – they just know how to do it. They are optimistic leaders who are viewed in a favorable light and are valued by the organization.
  2. Possess quick sifting abilities, knowing what to note and what to ignore. The latter is more important since there’s almost always too much data, and rarely too little. Ignoring the right things is better than trying to master extraneous data.
  3. Set, observe, and re-evaluate project priorities frequently. They focus and prioritize by handling fewer emails, attending fewer meetings, and generally limiting their data input.
  4. Ask good questions and listen to stakeholders. Great project managers don’t just go through the motions. They care about communication and the opinions of the parties involved. They are also sufficiently self-aware to know how their communication is received by those stakeholders.
  5. Do not use information as a weapon or a means of control. They communicate clearly, completely, and concisely. All the while giving others real information without fear of what they’ll do with it.
  6. Adhere to predictable communication schedules. They recognize that communication is the only deliverable early in a project cycle.
  7. Possess domain expertise in project management as applied to a particular field. It’s not just that they have generic project management skills; they have a deep familiarity with one or multiple fields that gives them a natural authority and solid strategic insight.
  8. Exercise independent and fair consensus-building skills when conflict arises. But they embrace only as much conflict as necessary, neither avoiding nor seeking grounds for control of a particular project segment.
  9. Cultivate and rely on extensive informal networks inside and outside the firm to solve problems that arise. They identify any critical issues that threaten projects and handle them resolutely (vs. ignoring them).
  10. Look forward to going to work! The truly great ones view project management as a career and not a job, and they treat it like so by seeking additional training and education.

Think you meet the criteria above?

Then maybe it’s time you talked with your KnowledgeNet Success Advisor and evaluated the many different ways you can leverage project management in advancing your career

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