Advice for Junior PMs – #6 – Starting your own Project Management Knowledge Book

One of the Project Management RSS feeds which I read had an interesting article in it (it looks like a recycled link, but was new to me).  The article stated that in order to continue growing in your project management career, you should start keeping a binder of your best practices.

Given that I’m not particularly into dead tree and lugging a binder about, I fired up Google Docs and started a new file.  I spent 30 minutes hammering out everything I could think of as a best practice.

My first line item, which came from a fortune cookie that I have taped to a photo frame, was Promise Only What You Can Deliver.

I always find it interesting that that quote bubbles to the top of my mind when I think of effective Project Management.  There have been so many instances in my consulting career that I have seen individuals say “yeah, I’ve got this” only to be followed by “I don’t got this.”

My second line item, which I have seem to have borrowed from the same site, is to ask people “how do they got that?”  (Or, more formally, ask your team members to explain what their plan of action is for a deliverable).  It is impossible to over communicate with your project team, so the notion that you need to confirm how people plan to action a task should seem like a fairly simple idea.  And while it may seem like a motherhood statement, it is so important that your team communicates with you as much as you communicate with your team.

And this leads to my third line item (don’t worry, I’m not going to go through all three pages) – involve your team to manage the project like you would stack an executive team.  Make sure that everyone is involved as the CEO, COO, CFO, and CIO.  Start with the CEO – Communicate Expectations Often; move to the COO –  Communicate Outcomes Often; then to the CFO – Communicate Facts Only; and finally the CIO – Communicate Information Often.  Applying this technique may seem weird and cutesy, but it can help bring some transparency to the way that you manage your projects with your team.

That’s the start of my Project Management knowledge book.

What are some of your Project Management best practices?  Are there any worst practices that you would prefer to eliminate before going down the path of best practices?


About Jason H Zalmanowitz
I am a nerdy Management Consultant / Project Manager with a MBA, have spent the majority of my career working for consulting firms in Calgary, and I race in triathlons because of (and thanks to) my wife. As a Project Manager, I have managed field implementations, strategy development projects, software development projects, and hardware implementation projects. As a consultant, I have helped companies articulate how and why they are going to implement and interact with sustaining technology to support their business.

One Response to Advice for Junior PMs – #6 – Starting your own Project Management Knowledge Book

  1. Pingback: Advice for Junior PMs – Introductory Post | Unnatural Leadership

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