In a recent graduate class I took, the professor asked each of his students the question “How Shall I Live?” This question may sounds simple, but once reflecting upon the question and talking with family/friends, it can be quite a daunting question. This question can also be thought of in a project manager mindset, as you do not know what path your project may go down or how it will be completed.
When growing up you have shared a similar goal of wanting to graduate from college, find a great job, climb the corporate ladder, get married, start a family, and retire by 40 to enjoy life. As picture-perfect as that sounds, you may not walked a straight path, but experiences a few bumpy or different paths along the way. A project manager goes though a similar process with projects, as you many have an organized project plan, set timeline, goals, and a great project team, but unexpected changes occur and the project manager has to lead the way through all phases of the project to complete the project in the most successful manner. How can you control these influences/changes, either in your life or managing a project, so you can achieve the end goal you have in mind?
Below are two tips that I took away from reading the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey, but reflecting on them in a project management:
Be Proactive-Take Responsibility of Your Project
- You are in charge of the project and you choose what occurs by the choices you make
- You have the opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results
- Don’t react to or worry about conditions in which you have little or no control, focus your time and energy on things that you can control
Begin with the End in Mind
- What is the end goal of the project? Are you headed in the right direction?
- Begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make it happen
How Shall You Manage a Project that can lead you down different paths to the end of the project?