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Project Success

Project management skills and tools help achieve desired outcome

9/23/2015 12:00:55 AM | Technical project management is an incredibly important topic, and one of the most important topics on how to get things done. If you look at any major project taken on by an organization, I can assure you that there was a good project manager assigned to make that project successful.

My most recent presentation at SHARE in Orlando covered a variety of subjects around the topic of Technical Project Management. I’m here to tell you that it’s a very important subject that is pivotal to the success of any corporation's major projects.

Skills

There are seven must-have skills to be a successful project manager. They are to:

  1. Be highly organized

  2. Know how to Lead

  3. Be an effective communicator

  4. Know how and when to negotiate

  5. Be detail oriented 

  6. Recognize and solve problems quickly

  7. Possess technical skills


Having these skills is key to being a good project manager and having success with any detailed technical project.

Technical abilities are also an important component of technical project delivery. They include:

  1. Budget preparation and financial prowess 

  2. Understanding the tools that make project management successful

  3. Solid technical reports
that are readily understood
  4. Project evaluation


RAID is a system for project management that stands for thinking about:

  1. Risks associated with the project

  2. Assumptions associate with the project

  3. Issues associated with the project

  4. Dependencies associated with the project


Together, the RAID topics can and do control a project outcome and are pivotal to the success of any technical project. Any technical project manager worth his or her salt understands RAID methodology and uses it to control the technical project's success. 



Tools

Project Management Tools are extremely important to driving a project to success, and must be understood by the project team. I must give full credit to my partner in crime, Ellis Holman, IBM Client Technical Architect. Based on Ellis' research, tools important to understand include:

  1. Microsoft Project
  2. Basecamp

  3. Bitrix24

  4. 2-Plan

  5. ProjectLibre

  6. GanttProject
Probably the most used project management tool is Microsoft Project, although the others mentioned are making considerable inroads. 



Many project managers choose to become certified. The most prominent is the Project Management Professional Certification (PMP), which is a collection of methodologies and testing leading to the certification. The PMP certification is a widely accepted industry standard certification.

Key to Success

Good technical project management is crucial to the success of any project. Technical project managers are worth their weight in gold as they are pivotal to the success of any technical project.
Cost savings can be attributed directly to solid project management skills.

Bottom line, get a great project manager and let them work their magic. Doing so will guarantee the success of your technical project bringing it in on time, under budget and technically successful.


Patrick Stanard is a z Systems Architect Manager for IBM. He is a 34 year professional in the industry spanning roles as a systems programmer, developer, manager, adjunct faculty member and director of operations. He has a Bachelor of Science in CIS from Saginaw Valley State University and an MBA from Michigan State University.

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