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Monday, January 24, 2005

Skills, Reputation, and Performance

As with any profession, your career prospects improve with ever increasing skills. Project Managers must have the skills to do the job, but also must have success in managing projects. One key to success in any field is to set goals. Ensure that your manager has bought into your goals and will use them as a basis of your performance review.

We must be ever mindful that our reputation affects our careers. A good reputation is earned and takes years of effort. You must be known first as trustworthy, an effective team leader, a person that works well with others, and for your resourcefulness. A project manager's job is unique because not only do we have to be great communicators, but we must also manage to the triple constraints. In addition, we must instill confidence with those we work with, and let them know that our project’s objectives are attainable, relevant, and important to the success of the organization.

When you take on a new project people’s perceptions will be based upon your performance, your results, and your communications. This falls in line with my view which says that all employees (including those at the top) should be measured (equally) on the Processes they use, the Results they achieve, and their Communications. What good are results when you have violated many or all of your department's/organization’s processes or have communicated poorly, which caused descent and ill will among your peers? Results are always important, but not at the expense of Process and Communications.

Remember, you don't need a high profile to succeed. You can achieve more with a very low, but exceptionally successful profile. You will know you are on the right track when management comes to you with the really hard work that needs to be done quickly, but efficiently without sacrificing you or your manager's integrity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to follow *some* process (like PMI's). But, if your organization's processes are outdated and ineffective, part of getting things done is to intentionally skirt those processes.

I'm not advocating cutting corners or going so far as to violate legal/ethical requirements. But part of being a project manager is being an advocate for change by example.

As I get more of track record and people trust me, I find I get more lattitude.