It was Oscar Wilde that once said “only dull people are brilliant at breakfast” and if that statement describes you then you should be seeking a career outside of Project Management. Quite simply as a Project Manager it is absolutely essential that you shine and are brilliant throughout the working day, including first thing in the morning and continuing to be so – no matter how long and arduous it might be. One aspect of achieving Project Management brilliance is to be an expert in dealing with people, having a great understanding of management techniques and being willing to constantly update and refine your own skills set. However, is that enough in itself to becoming a brilliant PM?
Become a specialist in a field.
Another way to show brilliance as a PM is to become a specialist in one particular field. There are some Project Managers who think they can PM a job in any field of work. Whilst it is possible to work as a PM across various aspects of commerce and industry – to really be a brilliant Project Manager you have to know and fully understand the business that you are Project Managing. The only way to attain that knowledge and understanding is to be thoroughly experienced in it – not to have just read a few books about it or have worked in it at some junior/unspecific level. The reason this is important is that your level of understanding and knowledge about the job you’re project managing on will be reflected in how you manage and deal with the project workers. They will quickly see if your own knowledge and experience isn’t at least as good as their’s and if you’re found to be lacking – your ability to manage them will become much more difficult, no matter how good your inter-personal skills are.
Always prepare the ground.
Another thing brilliant Project Managers will always do is to prepare the ground before they actually begin or take charge of a project. Having been appointed PM the absolute worst thing you could do would be to walk into your office on the first day with the attitude of “this is when the work begins”. Your work on the project begins the instant you’re appointed to it – as that is when you start checking on and refreshing your own skills set, thinking about the personnel you need, what you need to do initially … etc. We’ve said it time and time again but – preparation is key to both the success of a project and your brilliance as a Project Manager.