Managing ‘The Big Four’ in Successful Projects

Part 1 of 2,

In successful projects, four groups are involved. These groups are: top management, project manage­ment, the project team, and the client.  Today we will talk about the first two groups: top management and project management.  Collaboration is crucial.

Top Management

In successful projects, top manage­ment support and commitment are essential. Management shows support by allocating necessary resources, backing the project manager, and granting sufficient authority and influence to get the job done. Top management shows commitment by being there to champion the project.

Project Management

In successful projects, project managers are given enough author­ity to have control over the project, committed to meeting time, cost and quality goals, and involved in the project from beginning to end. The best project managers get more done by not doing so much them­selves. They set up the team (roles, responsibilities and communication links) and then manage it. They trust the skills of their team mem­bers and delegate the work to them.

The best project managers have business knowledge, management skills, technological awareness, and a commitment to excellence. They also make rigorous use of “manage­ment by walking around” (MBWA). The best project manag­ers are accessible, familiar, and respect the people on the project. They keep people talking to each other because they know that in successful projects it is usually less necessary to get people to work hard, than it is necessary to get people to work together.

 The best project managers are intimately familiar with all aspects of the project.

In my next blog I will be looking at the next two groups – the project team, and the client.

James L. Haner

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