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The 7 Beauties of Project Management

When project managers prepare to engage in a new project, they can use all the excitement and energy they can muster. Sally Pewhairangi shares some advice at PM Hut on how to spice up those otherwise boring aspects of the project. And she does so from the unique perspective of being a librarian.

Seven Sleeping Beauties

  1. Give Yourself Goosebumps
  2. Sell the Sizzle
  3. Dream with Deadlines
  4. In Teams we Trust
  5. Eyes on the Prize
  6. Toast Tiny Triumphs
  7. Keep Calm and Collected

Getting goosebumps on a project isn’t accidental. When Pewhairangi was charged with moving a serials collection to make way for a learning commons (a common librarian project), she and a partner had the audacity to take a “ho-hum” project and turn it into something innovative that altered the “DNA” of the library system–changing lending policies, staff workflows, etc.

An oft neglected aspect of project management (library or otherwise) is the sale of the project–to customers, to sponsors, or to staff. The key is to remove any negative connotations from the concept of sales:

Sell the sizzle is about the beauty of the project through the eyes of the supporter, whether that is the advisory board, team member or end user. What is important to the supporter, what will it do for them, what problem will it solve, what benefit will they gain?

As Pewhairangi suggests (and as project management demands), every dream comes with a deadline. Therefore the project needs a map and a plan of action that can be followed by all. Once the route is agreed upon, the journey can be undertaken. But no amount of success will be achieved unless each team member can trust the other. Obstacles will arise, but if one becomes distracted or disheartened, it will be difficult to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why it’s essential to celebrate every small victory that comes your way. Share the good moments with project staff and never miss an opportunity to congratulate or thank.

Lastly, things will never go as smoothly as you want them to. This is an important lesson, for you can’t change people or the world or certain events, but you can change your attitude long enough to achieve the goal you set out to achieve.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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