8 LESSONS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Joe Collins shares his greatest lessons learned after 30 years in project management.
In today’s environment, managing project teams and creating accountability presents new challenges. As teams look to consistently deliver amidst uncertainty, we asked veteran program manager, Joe Collins, to weigh in on ways to keep teams engaged and create accountability and collaboration. After 30 years in the business, he is often sought after for advice. Here, he shares 8 lessons he lives by, which apply even as the economic climate, the commercial real estate industry, and our approach project management evolve.
What he shared is not a surprise to those who know him. These take-aways are likely reasons why his projects are tremendously successful, and his industry partnerships run deep.
Tip #1 – Recognize the Positive
Make sure you take time to regularly recognize the positive – team members who go the extra mile, key milestones that are met, and things that have gone according to plan. You’ll be amazed at how that will elevate your team’s performance.
Tip #2 – Balance Collaboration with Accountability
The most effective program managers can strike a balance between developing a collaborative spirit among team members and holding everyone accountable for their commitments. If either gets too far out of balance, teamwork and performance suffer.
Tip #3 – Hold Yourself Accountable
You have to be accountable before you can hold someone else accountable. Setting a high bar by your actions demonstrates a level of accountability that everyone will aspire to meet.
Tip #4 – Let Experts Be Experts
You can’t and won’t have all the answers. We can’t be masters of everything. Over time, you’ll learn to ask the right questions so that the subject matter experts can guide the group to the right answer.
Tip #5 – Focus Forward
Most team members are fixated on the immediate issues and challenges they face. Every so often, stop and think about what needs to happen in the next 3-6 months. Make sure your team is informed and prepared to handle it. Being proactive alleviates the feeling that everything is time-critical and allows some breathing room for your team members.
Tip #6 – Pick up the Phone
Avoid angry emails. Pick-up the phone and have a personal discussion. You’ll be amazed at how often the disagreement was the result of a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding.
Tip #7 – Ask for Help
Consider having one of your colleagues review your projects at critical milestones. Someone with an outside perspective may identify blind spots that you had not considered.
Tip #8 – Act Quickly When Problems Arise
If a big problem presents itself, dig in and go to work on it right away. It will likely only worsen with time, and potential solutions may no longer be available if you wait.
WAYS DARDEN CAN HELP: If you are seeking to deepen the collaboration and level of accountability amongst your teams and improve your chances of project success, Darden teams can provide the guidance you need to start the project on the right foot, or get your building program back on track.