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My Wish List for Project Management in 2015

~ By Brad Egeland

Yellow sticky note reading: Share your wish

This is a first for me…a Christmas list for project management, or maybe a New Year's resolution for the project management world. At any rate, here are a few things that I'd like to see happen for project management in 2015. As you read, please consider the changes, additions or deletions you'd like to see happen and share with everyone so we can openly discuss. Thanks!

Now for my thoughts on the look of project management for 2015:

Project Managers Should be Engagement Managers

If you've read some of my articles then you probably already know that this is a chip on my shoulder. I fully believe that the PM needs to be involved at the conception of the project, not just after the project is "sold" to a customer and ready to service. That is like creating a PMO and then hiring a director to run it when the project is almost finished. It's a bad idea from beginning to end.

Incorporate More Social Media into Projects and Team Collaboration

I feel that 60-70% of organisations are dropping the ball on the power of social media. And project management is no exception. It can be a powerful tool for team collaboration, interacting with customers, as well as sharing information about your project up the line to senior management. Lots of PM tools include great collaboration mechanisms, but even if yours doesn't, there is always the opportunity to create Facebook groups, etc. to get your messages to your team.

Make Project Customers a Bigger Part of the "Team"

Often our customers are just included at infrequent milestones, to get approvals and to sign cheques. Let's keep them engaged. Make them part of the team. Collaborate with them. Require them to be involved – daily. Then they are always there when you need them. Plus, getting them to do some of the work will mean more profits for you and your organisation when the project is over.

Have a PMO in Every Organisation

Not all PMOs are created equal. But you can build a good one and if you have a good one in place, then your organisation and the PMO infrastructure will reap the benefits. Every organisation could benefit from a decent PMO – even a small business can benefit from a small PMO that may lack the rigid details and policies but at least provides some structure to those running the projects. Not all PMOs are created equal, but all PMOs can be helpful.

Emphasise Experience More

Finally, let's place more emphasis on getting the right "people" in place and not just what looks good on paper. Certifications are great – and may be necessary in a given industry or organisation. But they won't guarantee that the job gets done or that it gets done right. That's where experience comes in. And experience also = good mentoring. Hire the right people, not the right words.

Call for Response

What's on your PM wish list for 2015? Share and let's discuss with our readers to spread some knowledge, experience and ideas.


Comments (4)

Topic: My Wish List for Project Management in 2015
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17th December 2014 11:17am
Duncan (London) says...
My wish is for excellent teamwork on my projects in 2015. It has been said "teamwork is the engine that makes projects run smoothly". We should set high expectations of each other - give 100% and expect 100%. We need to be clear what everybody's role is and what is expected from each person. If everyone sticks to their role we will have a pretty professional organisation and our projects will be successful. Hopefully, we'll also have some fun.
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16th December 2014 11:10am
CathyB (Edinburgh) says...
Having changed jobs this year, I'm aware some of the things I notice go across organisations. My big wish would be a better awareness and understanding of what a project manager does. What the skills and competencies are. And allied to that, the roles within the project team and governance.

In terms of your PMO point, I'd like to see that expressed in terms of the benefit to the project, what value does it add, rather than just saying "have one" if it was going to make it onto my list. For example, is this about the project having context, direction, a view of where it fits in the bigger picture? If so, yes to all of the above. But if it is about admin and paperwork....no thanks.
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15th December 2014 7:08pm
Duncan (London) says...
I like your idea of engaging your customers, but I also question the idea of engaging them daily. They may not want to be engaged that frequently – that's why they hired a project manager!

Placing more emphasis on getting the right people and not just what looks good on paper is so true! There are plenty of people out there with the qualifications and even the experience, who still don’t do a very good job.
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15th December 2014 3:28pm
Kit says...
I really like the 'Make Project Customers a Bigger Part of the "Team"' comment. As you say, there is a cost saving and also them taking accountability means a lot of risk is passed to them too. This often also means they are more aware of project progress too.

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