• Adam Thackeray

Become a rockstar project manager

Project Management has been around for quite some time. You can trace it back to the days of the Egyptians for informal means to manage project work. Project Management became more formal in the 1950s where it stemmed from the US Military as a methodology. The practices of project management has evolved into a number of different methodologies - PMI-related, PRINCE2, SaFE, Agile, etc...These are solid foundations for understanding the mechanics of project management (they’re like foundational moves in a given style of martial need the basics to start your journey). The reason I say foundational is because the real success of being a rockstar project manager is your ability to actually apply those methodologies and learn to use them when it makes sense for your organization. Adopting a way of working simply because someone else is doing it is a recipe for disaster and negative long-term effects. Which brings me to the point that there are literally thousands of project managers in the workforce now and yet, it is still one of the most difficult roles to fill in technology. Why is that? Finding elite project managers is hard...individuals who can actually mobilize a team and get the work done are in limited supply. Rockstar PMs are a rare tribe of people who understand your business, the BS (every organization has alot of it), your culture, the people and how to get the work done are vital to your success.

Now...this begs the question...How do you become a rockstar!?!

Amongst all of the methodologies, models, practices, organizing, calculations, schedules, risk management and planning the core factors that make you a rockstar PM come down to the following:

  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking. How to do you deal with issues? Sophisticated planning? Root cause analysis? Going deep or broad based on the situation.

  • How much emotional intelligence you possess. Are you self aware? Empathetic to the team around you? Manage your emotions to pass through the fire and brimstone? Understand others? Can you build trusted and meaningful relations with your team, stakeholders and executives.

  • Communication. Can you clearly express yourself (written and verbal)? Can you adapt the way you communicate based on different scenarios (audience, location, individuals)

  • Technical Aptitude. How well do you know the technologies you're working with?

  • Execution. In the end, you and your team need to get work done. The why, what and how of getting that work done is what puts you at an elite level.

Knowing how and when to apply appropriate tactics throughout the course of your days at work is what enables you to be successful.

Let me clear, it takes time, discipline and energy as you need to continuously grow and evolve in these areas. Project Management is a multi-faceted role and the skillsets are forever adapting to the demands of your organization (and your customers!)...which can make for a very exciting and lucrative career!

Thanks for reading. Never stop learning.


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