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7 Tips for Successful Project Management: How Leadership Manages Change Thru Goals & Teamwork

In any endeavor, before one can begin, it helps to be able to define exactly what is being discussed. A simple project management definition is managing specific change through teamwork. There are many other definitions depending upon what expert you are reading. However, when you render all these definitions from the simplest to the most complex down to their basic components, you will find that they all share these three:

  1. Planning the Project or Goal
  2. Execution of the Goal including management
  3. Measurement of the Goal

Additionally, these three supporting processes are present in part or in all of these definitions:

  1. People or teamwork working together to achieve the goal
  2. Goal Achievement to achieve the desired goal
  3. Quality to ensure continuous improvement within the goal

Successful project management begins by planning the goal using the W.H.Y. S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Many know the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, but the addition of the W.H.Y. Written, Habit Forming and Yours helps to increase both consistency and buy-in from all members.

Execution of the goal also includes managing the goal. The leadership of the team must work with fellow team mates to help their execute their responsibilities as well as keep abreast of all actions so that the project comes in on time and on budget.

The goal must be measured not only at the end, but also along the way. These benchmarks help to keep the project on track and identify any potential snags or obstacles that may unexpectedly happen during the project.

People or teamwork is the first process that unites the planning with the execution. Helping people work together as a team to share a united vision is critical to the success of any project.

Since project management is really about a team achieving a specific goal, then everyone must use the same goal achievement process. Given that goal achievement is not taught, it is imperative that all team members employ the same process and the same tools.

With many projects taking extended time to achieve, a quality or continuous improvement process needs to be included. Quality processes such as Baldrige or Lean Thinking provide a better end result and help the team to embrace new ideas and accept change during the course of the project.

Finally, leadership is the catalyst that ensures that everyone recognizes the importance of achieving the goal especially those who are not directly involved in the project. When the basic components, supporting processes and leadership are united and aligned, successful project management is a Slam-Dunk.

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