Tips for success as a project leader

Consider how successful you would be as a Project Manager if you followed these top tips for success from Cindy Hook the new CEO of Deloitte Australia:

Build cohesive teams

Here Cindy talks about the people around you, on your team having a vision.  The same vision that you have, “they understand where you’re trying to take them”.  She also explains that to build a cohesive team the team members each need to understand their role and how they will fulfill it.

How would you do this on a project team?

Is it about ensuring that you create the sense of equality that I spoke about?

Does it mean that you need to ensure that your communication is very clear and open at all times?

Can you be clear about the role that you require each team member to fill and then let them fulfill that role?


Face your challenges

Cindy speaks about the need to face your challenges head on and figure a way through them.  She mentions the need to stay positive even when you face adversity.  Cindy says “positivity is important’.

How do you manage the challenges that arise on your project?

How do you work WITH the other team members to figure out a way through?

Do you set and keep a positive mindset even when your project isn’t working out as you had planned?


Have a diverse team

Cindy talks about having a diverse team that brings different ideas and different thinking to the game.

On a project team I don’t see a lot of PM’s or stream leads for that matter celebrating the diversity and range of skills that each of the team members bring to the table.

How many times have you, as the PM, asked team members what their actual skills and background is, in order to fully understand the depth of knowledge and understand that you have at your disposal?

When you face a challenge, do you ever stop to put the challenge out to your project team and ask them to solve it for you, and I mean across the broader project team, not just who you THINK will be able to respond?


What this might look like in managing a project team

Up front even before the Project formally kicks off you have a welcome session with the project team members.  In that session you sit around in a circle and share some background information on each individuals knowledge, skills and expertise.  You talk about peoples strength areas and what they are passionate about, and enjoy doing.

This creates a sense of shared knowing, a sense of ‘community’ amongst the team.

As part of the session you set the scene of what the project is about, the background and what the success outcomes are.  This then allows those present to be on the same page; to ask any questions and clarify understanding up front.

And, if along your project life cycle you face a challenge, then you get the team in a room and ask for their support and suggestions as to how you might fix the problem area.  You use the combined team skills to tap into other knowledge holders, or external support, or whatever it is that they bring to the room at that time.

The team then feel part of the solution, as though they have buy-into it.

You may find that if you did this your project might run in a very different way.



Written by Karen Munro