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The Eight Habits Of Very Successful Project Managers

Quick Summary

Success in PM is more about how you tell em' than what you tell em'.
Project Management
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3 min
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3.65 K
This is the first of a series of articles discussing what I have identified as common to all successful Project Managers. Anyone who knows me knows that it is my belief that successful Project Management has about 20% to do with hard skills dealing with Planning, Organising, Monitoring and Controlling and about 80% to do with attitude and behaviours. In other words, success is more about "how you tell 'em" than "what you tell 'em".

Don't get me wrong here. I do believe that you must have the 20% in place. I am a firm believer in hard skill processes, procedures, plans and controls. It's just that I believe, from experience and from interviewing and modelling other successful Project Managers, that the bigger part of the success equation is attitudes and behaviours. Things such as, enthusiasm, energy, commitment to excellence, commitment to success, sense of humour, communication, honesty, openness, self-motivation, the ability to motivate others, etc. Put these attitudes and behaviours with the hard skills and you become a formidable opponent of the failed project.

By the way, I believe that these 8 habits can be applied by anyone to help them set and achieve any of their goals. At any rate...


Lets look at a top-level view of the 8 Habits:

Habit Number 1. Know Your Outcome
Know what you want to achieve before you start to achieve it.

Habit Number 2. Plan the Achievement
Start using success words such as achievement, success, completion, etc. and also make sure you have a detailed plan in place for achieving the outcome.

Habit Number 3. Organise for Success
There's that success word again. Plus you must organise you, your team, and all others that you are dependent on for successful achievement of your outcome into a viable organisation relating to the Plan.

Habit Number 4. Gain and Maintain Commitment
Rather than just jumping into the work necessary to achieve the outcome, I suggest that you ensure that all who need to be committed to the Achievement Plan are committed and you have a strategy in place to keep them committed.

Habit Number 5. Take Massive Action
Once the Outcome is known, the Plan is prepared, the Organisation is in place, the people are committed you must take massive action to your plan. Action does not necessarily equal achievement. However, massive action to the plan to the plan does.

Habit Number 6. Monitor and Control Achievement
As you take massive action to the plan you must ensure that you are monitoring achievement and, if required, making changes to the plan. In addition, it is highly important that you have the necessary controls in place to handle changes, risks, issues, etc. that could affect achievement.

Habit Number 7. Stay Focused
It is extremely important that you remain focused on delivery of the outcome in accordance with the way in which achievement has been planned. However, if changes are required, make them and then re-focus on the new Outcome or the new Plan.

Habit Number 8. The Secret Habit
We'll write more about this later. Until then it will remain secret. However, it is one habit that all truly successful people practice.
This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ Richard M. who travels from Leasburg, USA. Richard is available for Professional Speaking Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

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