What Makes a Project Your Favorite?

29 Jun

In watching a project management video by Bas de Baar from Project Shrink, he posed a great question “What made your favorite project your favorite?”  Bas points out that if you involve your team members at the start of your project to construct the project approach/best practices, this will help set your project up for success, and I couldn’t agree with him more!

Check out Bas’s YouTube Channel, which has a wealth of information about project management on it!

If you are a new project manager, new to an organization, or have new project team members, I feel this is a great  and powerful exercise to conduct to help set you up for success starting at beginning of the project.  Below are some helpful questions to ask during this team-building exercise, as this feedback can provide you with an insight on how others best work, an ability to meet/work with new people, and learn from others people’s successful stories, with the hopes that one day your project will be mentioned as their favorite!  I also feel while it’s good to ask what is their favorite, asking what was the worst can also provide useful information to know what not to do.

  1. What was your favorite/worst project to work on and why?
  2. Who is your favorite/worst project managers/boss and why? This provides you with helpful insight from each team members that can help you to modify your managing style to best motivate that person to perform to the best of their ability.
  3. Who is your favorite/worst project team members to work with and why?
  4. What communication style do you prefer/least prefer and why?
  5. What makes a great/horrible meeting and why?

In pondering the above questions, my answers to what are my favorite in regards to projects would be:

  1. I have several projects I have enjoyed over the years, as each has taught me something new and exciting.  One of my favorites was an IT project, which had an outstanding IT ticket out for several years.  We were able to get the right group of people in one room, brainstorm a solution, and develop a solution, it will increase the efficiencies and make the life of several people’s jobs that much more easier.  I absolutely love working on those rewarding projects!
  2. My favorite project manager/boss is one that is organized, hard working, and a wealth of knowledge/experience waiting to share with others.
  3. My favorite team members are those that are hard working, accountable, brainstorm out-of-the-box solutions, have a great source of knowledge, and willing to embrace change.
  4. My favorite communication style is e-mail, but I am very flexible to meet my end user’s preferences, so I do not mind phone calls, one-on-ones, or meetings.
  5. A great meeting is one that everyone has prepared in advance on the meeting topic, starts on time, ends on time (or earlier), organized, notes taken, great communication flow, , one that lead in the right direction towards a resolution, and of course a positive and fun learning environment.

What is your favorite/wrost project and why? Please comment below.

Bas de Baar is the author of the forthcoming book, “TEMPORARY TRIBES: Interaction and Collaboration in a Digital and Mobile World.” He is making complex people stuff less complex. A Project Shrink. Using metaphors, language and visualization he helps people to get insights in difficult problems surrounding projects and online collaboration. He combines powerful ideas from a wide range of disciplines to provide a different perspective on people stuff.


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