Thursday, October 21, 2010

Knowing Your Styles Affects Your Project Management Skills

When you decide to start a new project or undertake a new event it is important that you get it right.  The easiest way to get it right is to understand who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as understand how you fit into the bigger picture.
Here is the way that I usually approach things and some of the lessons I have learnt when it comes to project and event management.
I usually try to get as much done as quickly as possible.  This is the classic boots and all approach.  All of the energy and ideas are created at the very beginning and are implemented very, very quickly.
Positives of this approach.  A plan is out together quickly and efficiently and the work gets started.  Big tasks are handled quickly and are moved off the list of things to do.  Energy levels are high and momentum can be created at this stage.
Minuses of this approach.  Stakeholders (internal and external) often are not consulted and a bulk of the projects are completed on the fly.  Often there is a lack of resources allocated and not all the possible scenarios are thought through.
What have I learned?
  • One key thing I have learnt is how I operate as a person and what my personality type is like.  I am a project starter and less of a project finisher.  I am good at spreading energy and enthusiasm early on and getting people to jump on board.
  • Small early wins lay the platform for bigger wins later.
  • I am aware that I need other people who have an eye for detail and who are better planners than I am.
  • I have also learnt that I need to engage internal stakeholder to assist with the project both at the beginning as well as bringing them in at later stages.
  • By spacing out your helpers getting involved you can use them to inject new levels of enthusiasm and energy as the project continues along. 
  • Early starters may need to drop out when they lose focus or momentum but that is not really a problem.  By releasing those people they can then revitalise themselves with a new project and if they want can rejoin your project at a later time.
So you there you go.  That's how I work.  I know what I'm good at and equally (hopefully) what I'm not so good at.  How about you?  What is your personality like and how does it affect the way you work?

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