Six Qualities of great Project Manager for 2017

These are key characteristics that I want to talk about for Project Managers to have in 2017. Project Managers in order to succeed in the 2017 year, a Project Manager has to be committed to the project and the organization.

1. Integrity: Are you doing what you say and say what you do? A Project Manager needs to have the full dosage of integrity and loyal to their projects. Gone are the days when a Project Managers can just wing it and expect to get away. The demands are high and our stakeholders want it faster and quicker than before. Research shows that over 90% of projects never reach their objectives. These projects are failing at a high rate and we need to have Project Managers who are passionate and admire a Status Report or a Communication Plan just like an Accountant admires a ledger or like the HR Block tax preparer admires a W2.

2. Loyalty: Are you loyal to your current project or are you just looking for the next project? Are you spending time on the phone talking with recruiters? You are doing a disservice to your stakeholders. I would really like to meet Project Managers who are full of integrity and strongly loyal to their current projects and not just using the current gig as a stepping stone for the next job. Projects Managers need to be committed in 2017 and we have to do so by showing passion to the project. What will keep us in the good stead with the CFO and CEOs will not be to demonstrate that we are certified but to demonstrate that we can deliver value and add value to the top and bottom line.

3. Dedication: What gets us out of bed every day? Is it the missed project charter we failed to do at the beginning of the project or the kick off meeting we failed to conduct? Is it the missed status report we have not done for the past four weeks? You will be held accountable and may even lose your job when we skip these key deliverables and just collect paychecks. There are Project Managers who are making over $125 per hour and have yet to produce a single Status Report, a Communication Plan, or even a Statement of Work. Yet they are getting paid weekly and blame others for the inability to deliver. This habit must stop in 2017. Take the blame and be full of integrity and loyal to your project and to your team. Drop the charade of the PMP certification and get to work, fellow PMs. Let’s make 2017 a year of the Project Manager. I have yet to see a Project Manager receive the Presidential Medal of Honor for delivering a key project on time and on budget. Yet, we are burning dollars like an ever-flowing river. This must stop. Start spending company dollars wisely in 2017.

I have met several Project Managers who are in this for the long haul and take their projects and tasks at heart. I admire the Project Manager who thinks about how they can add value and not how they can buzzword their resume for the next gig. If you find yourself spending too much time on your resume and not on the Project Charter or Status report, STOP and in 2017, resolve to spend more time on your project schedule.

4. Humble: Of course, there is not ideal project, no ideal company and no ideal project manager but we must start working towards making ourselves a value-added employee in the company and not just stick certifications in people’s face and expect good paying jobs. In 2017, let’s be really conscientious and add value. Stop playing games and deceiving yourselves that you are great. Be humble and accept that without your team, you will be lost. In 2017, be humble and your team will make you look great.

5. Grow revenue: In 2017, let’s make the top line turn green because the projects we are working on is successful and demonstrate to management that we understand how the company makes profit. We may understand how the company makes money (top line) but we may not understand how the company makes profit (bottom line). In 2017, take and walk down the hallway of an executive and ask them for the goals and see how your project fits in the overall goals of the company. If your project does not show anywhere on the goals of the company, you may be one of those bottlenecks who in 2017 will be looking for a new job. Stop taking up space and money and not adding value. In 2017, change that.

6. Certifications: Ah, and then there is the newbie’s who are dying to become certified Project Managers so they too can claim a title behind their name and expect to be paid a boat load of money. In 2017, if you are planning to get your PMP, ask yourself how is this going to help the top line and bottom line? If you are not sure how this will help, go talk to an executive and ask them what development plans do they have for 2017 and follow their footsteps and that’s how you will add value to the company.

The PMP certification only gets you through the interview process as it does not help you do a Project Charter or a status report any better. Just like a college degree in Biology does not give you a patent on cell technology, a PMP certification does not give you an authority in delivery projects on time and on budget. Get over your ego in 2017 and be humble.

Finally, 2017 will be the year of the Project Managers who are loyal and full of integrity and do what they say they will do and do it will consistently without taking all the credit and adding value to the top and bottom line.

Go out there and make 2017 a great year. Let’s work to get the next Presidential medal of Honor be awarded to that great certified Project Manager.
Danielson Nichols – January 2017