Starting as a new project manager can be incredibly daunting, so it’s helpful to know what skills you need to bring to the table to be successful. Skills like risk management, problem solving, and critical thinking are core skills that are needed by any project manager, but skills like active listening, effective communication, and technology knowledge are what make the difference between a subpar leader and a great leader.
As part of developing their interpersonal skills, project leaders should cultivate strong leadership skills. Project teams need sound leadership from their project leads to complete their objectives. Without robust leadership from the project leader, projects can fail or miss key deadlines.
For some project leaders, delegating tasks is the hardest part of the job. As a project leader, it can be tempting to try to perform all project work yourself (i.e., the "if you want something done right, do it yourself" syndrome) or to micromanage when you delegate work. For better or worse, projects are often far too big for any one person to complete, and delegating work is a project management necessity.
Johanna Rothman is the owner of Rothman Consulting Group, through which she has coached product developers, led Agile transformations, and improved projects, programs, and organizations for over 26 years. She has also written a large collection of books about project management and the workplace.
Prior to consulting, Rothman was a software engineer who served as a project leader, program manager, and director at Boston Technology. She is a longtime contributor to Skye Learning courseware, providing expert commentary for Introduction to Agile, Principles of Scrum, PMP® Exam Prep Course, and more.
Let's face it–even under the best of circumstances, project management is hard. There are so many facets and factors to consider at each project stage, including several that will change (sometimes dramatically) over the course of your project. Scope may be altered, costs will fluctuate, and schedules will have to be modified. Objectives may shift, resources will become constrained, and new information will pop up that could radically change your view of how your project should run. And that's just to name a few; there are many more insidious things that could cause problems that could delay or even derail your project completely.
Marc Trudeau is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master with over 30 years of experience in Scrum/Agile/Lean deployments, program management, employee development, and more. He has numerous certifications, including Professional Scrum Master II, ICP-ACC, and OLN-OSA1. He has advised chairpersons and CEOs ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.
This week, Skye Learning is excited to spotlight Deb Pontes, an Agile Transformation Coach at Fidelity Investments. Pontes is a subject matter expert for Skye’s Integrating Agile Into a Waterfall Environment
Pontes has significant experience as an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, project manager, and program manager. She’s passionate about innovation-based change as well as making information easily consumable and readily available. Pontes is an OSA-Certified Trainer and co-author of the OpenSpace Agility Handbook™.
Jim Stewart, PMP® and CSM®, is a project manager with over twenty years of experience who has overseen multi-million dollar international programs. A consultant, trainer, and mentor, Stewart helps organizations incorporate best practices, set up project management offices, run project planning workshops, and more.
Stewart is also a subject matter expert for Skye Learning’s PMP® Exam Prep Course and CAPM® Exam Prep Course, which prepare learners to pass the exams while providing all required professional development units (PDUs).
Jim Hannon has an extensive background in Agile coaching and project management with diversified experience across the information technology and financial services industries. He is currently an Agile Coach and Director of the Agile Transformation Office at Fidelity Investments. Hannon is also a subject matter expert for Skye Learning’s Agile Team Challenges and Integrating Agile and Waterfall.
Project managers have a number of options when considering the use of Agile project management practices. They can adopt an Agile methodology, such as Scrum, and use it "full-strength" throughout the project, or they can take a blended approach and pick-and-choose Agile tools and techniques to incorporate into a traditional project framework. Understanding the differences between an Agile approach and a traditional project management approach can help you decide if Agile should be used for your next project. Check out our latest infographic to learn more.