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Masters of Change

Why isn’t the profession of a project manager respected? What can we do to change this thinking? In this PMI blog post, Cyndee Miller shares a few tips from PMI® Global Congress 2014—EMEA keynote speaker Jon Duschinsky for project managers to change the perceptions of the profession.

1.      Ask executives or project sponsors to define a project’s values and missions. “This gives you guiding criteria to carry you through the journey,” he said.

2.      Focus on aligning the project with company values so people stay connected to it.

3.      Determine what you want people to think. “That’s how you avoid a project gathering dust in the corner.”

Outcome First, Then Process

The mistake that many project managers make is focusing on the process rather than the output. Mr. Duschinsky advises to focus first on the outcome, then the process. Doing so will shift the perspective of the project from “managing a project to inspiring people to care about the outcome.”

An example is Formula One, a global auto-racing championship. With the recent growing demand for environmental sustainability, it was a challenge to overcome as the company was not really known for being green, burning tons of fossil fuel and rubber on the track, says Mark Gallagher, who has worked on Formula One for almost 30 years. What was the result of this obstacle that had to be overcome ? An engine that still performed at 800 horsepower and lasted the same distance, but burned 40 percent less fuel.

“To deliver that kind of cutting-edge innovation, organizations must make the most of their teams, said Mr. Gallagher. ‘It all comes down to how we harness our people and get the team working with a high-performance attitude,’ he said. ‘When we can listen, they can give us the winning edge.’”

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About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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