Guerilla Project Management for Executive Managers

Why is Project Management important for Executive Managers? Our daily activities and jobs include Project Management activities, even if they are hidden under different names. This blog is partly about how to run projects, and partly (and puts a great emphasis) on how to benefit from a Project oriented approach, no matter which step of your career you are to.

Implementing Project Management, meaning implementing a Project Management methodology, opening Project Manager jobs or creating the Project Management Office, is usually an initiative of the top management of a company, because they are in perpetual search of new ways to develop competitive advantages. That is the rationale for this blog being partly addressed to executives: one must know what to expect and ask from Project Management and where is her organization on the path of Project Management Maturity. You will find what is common and what is not in the problems you might experience during this journey, all with the purpose of being successful in implementing Project Management as a competitive advantage.

Although based on the PMBok methodology, this blog is not destined for studying for the PMP certification. There are far more thorough materials available for this purpose. The best practices (in my opinion) that are described here are exclusively based on real practice and can differ from the theoretical concepts the PMBok describes. They are presented somehow different for ensuring a practical, down-to-earth understanding for people that are not specialized in Project Management.

Here is how to benefit on Project Management no matter where you are:

• If you are an executive manager: use Project-oriented organization in order to achieve you business/strategic objectives;

• If you are a senior manager and work in a company that could benefit from project-oriented approach, use the rationale presented by this blog to see how it can apply to your company and to convince upper management to use a Project Management approach;

• If you are the Project Sponsor, that is, you pay for the project from your own budget, use this blog to find out how to act as a Project Sponsor in order to maximize the benefits for the money you are paying;

• If you are a Project manager that has an internal client (that is, from your own organization), find out how to relate with the rest of the organization in order to secure the resources that are needed for the project;

• If you are a Project manager that has an external client (that is, from outside of your organization), find out what is specific for these projects and how to involve the client for their being successful;

• If you find your self being a de-facto Project Manager (although your title might differ), use this blog to formalize your knowledge in Project Management; it is my belief that each and everyone of us is a Project Manager, either at work or at home. 

This blog uses the following concepts as its core:

• Project-oriented organization and approach: its description and why is it considered sound business practice. How to ensure cross-functional and cross-departmental initiatives success by using virtual teams (Project Management Maturity);

• Understanding organizational culture needed to reach certain levels in Project Management Maturity, ensuring the context needed for successfully reaching business objectives using projects and nurturing a culture that facilitates quick decision-making and short communication paths within the organization. How to stimulate initiative, participation and group motivation at all organizational levels (post to follow);

• Understand project definition, the adequate project size and how to allocate a Project Manager that fits the job. Effective management by delegating authority and control to a good Project Manager (post to follow);

• What means a good Project Manager and how/where to recruit the needed Project Manager (post to follow);

• Understand what is a Project Management methodology and what advantages it brings if used consistently. Add a complex practice skillset in general planning and managing projects, and use them to create competitive advantages for your organization (post to follow);

• Understand the project lifecycle: Start-up, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing (post to follow);

• Define a program as an interrelated set of projects with common objectives and interdependencies; manage change within your organization that comes with implementing programs. Learn the level of necessary skills required for running big projects/programs and how can one advance from Project Manager to being a Program Manager (Program Management, Program Governance, Managing Change, Communicating BenefitsChoosing the Right Program Manager);

• Understand Portfolio Management concepts and how to analyze a Portfolio of Projects (post to follow);

• How to set up a Project Management Office (post to follow).

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