What the hell does that mean? Before I answer, I want to define a couple things. First, what is Project Management? The Project Management Institute defines it as: “the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently.” And WhatIs.com defines it as” “a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish.” There is no set-in-stone definition for Project Management so, for me it’s: the effective use of leadership qualities to complete a set of goal oriented steps efficiently through engagement. By breaking my definition down piece by piece, you can engage and be an effective leader.
I’m going to combine two words from my definition to make a point. Engagement, to participate and be involved at all levels and effective, which for this conversation, is completing the goal oriented steps in a manner that will create the most value for the project’s end result. Australia’s state of Victoria does a great job at outlining the benefits of being effectively engaged which leads to:
- better project outcome
- better relationships with community
- enhanced reputation for your organisation
- increased understanding of community issues
- better partnerships and networks
The community in your project is everyone from regulatory agencies to the customers who will benefit from the project’s completion. The partnerships/networks applies to those relationships that are built as the project takes place. These relationships can be relied upon for support during the next project.
Efficient Project Management
Simply, efficiency is doing something with a minimum amount of time and effort. An article in Computerworld combines efficient with project management and says: “to be an efficient project manager means you need to streamline your process to help ensure success for the project, the team, and the customer.” The customer in each and every project should always be those who will benefit from the project’s completion. No matter the project, there is some individual person that will hopefully benefit from what you and your team are doing and that is always who you should keep in mind as you efficiently manage your project.
There are many qualities the make a leader, in 2012 Forbes listed their Top Ten Qualities That Make a Great Leader.
- Ability to Delegate
- Sense of Humor
- Positive Attitude
- Ability to Inspire
There are many more that could be argued for and against; the great thing about leadership qualities is that most of them can be taught or learned. A whole blog series of could be written on leadership qualities so the ones listed here are meant to show that to be truly engaged in a project, means to be engaged on many different levels.
Wrapping it all up.
When you’re the project manager, of any type of project, you step into the role of leader. From the people who put you in charge to the project’s team, they will all look to you, or should be looking to you throughout all steps of the project. And if they are not looking to you, then you’re probably not engaged. So, check to see if you’re engaged, because unless you’re engaged, you will not be efficient. And when you do get engaged, then you can truly become effective as a leader.