The Proactive Project Manager…

In the course of talking with project managers at many organizations, I learn a lot about the successes they have and the failures they encounter. 

One thing I can forget, being outside of the organization, and often invited in at a level higher than they are in the organization…is the tremendous pressure that they feel to conform and not to rock the boat. 

Which makes doing the right thing difficult…

Too often, a PM will use this an excuse to just do the bare minimum or to pass the decision making buck off. 

Today I want to introduce the idea of the “proactive project manager” with 3 ways that you can be a more proactive PM, even if your organization is giving you hell.

1. Open Up Your Communications: So much of a PMs time is spent as the point person for communications. Too often the best information may not be getting to the PM. This can be because of any number of reasons. As a proactive PM, I want you to create an environment where you want all information that is pertinent to a team to get to you…good or bad. This will help you learn about issues before they become too troublesome and can help you keep your project on track, on time, and on budget.

2. Review & Revise Your Plans: Everything about a project changes once you actually begin working on it. That’s just life. One key step you can do, is to take a few minutes at the end of each week or at a convenient point along the project timeline to review your plan and to revise the plan according to facts on the ground. You may still encounter trouble, but you will be ahead of the game if you are proactive in looking at where the plan actually stands.

3. Create A Place To Keep Your Lessons Learned: Creation is at the center of being proactive. So even if you are in a terrible organization, you need to focus on your performance as a project manager. That means taking responsibility for your lessons learned. Even if you aren’t getting recognition and support in your current organization, the opportunity to do so in another organization may present itself.

What do you think? Am I out of my mind? Or, am I right on?

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