Project Management Advice From Robert Kelly

25 Jul

Robert Kelly is the CEO and Founder of Kelly Project Solutions and has over 10 years of project management experience through his vast career working for Top Fortune 500 companies across several different industries sectors.  I met Robert on Twitter after we were both featured on The Project Box’s Top 10 Project Managers on Twitter earlier this year, so I was quite honored to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions and share his words of wisdom on my project management blog with each of you.   


Who or What Got You Interested in Project Management?

I do not believe there was a specific person or moment that peaked my interest in project management, as I was the typical accidental project manager, and a few years in I said, “This is what I want to do!”

Why Have You Stayed in Project Management?

Project management gives me the opportunity to solve business problems, develop the next industry changing product, and work with the latest technology, which is what has kept me in this field.  As a consultant, you get to work with different clients, across various sectors, and with some of the best minds in their respective business.

What Are a Few Characteristics/Traits That You Look For When Hiring a Project Manager?

  1. Have a Great Personality:  I have always been a firm believer that I can teach almost anyone, almost anything. The one thing I cannot teach is a personality. This is the cornerstone of KPS Talent Acquisition efforts.  Resumes and domain knowledge are easy to review and match up with a requisition.  Success comes when you match the right personality, risk tolerance, etc of a candidate and a client.
  2. Develop Strong Relationships: As with our clients, KPS invests a lot of time in developing relationships with potential Associates. Before a potential candidate even gets to the selection phase, we have spent time chatting with them on Twitter or LinkedIn, following their blogs, etc. Like the investment into client relationships, we will try to meet with candidates for dinner or at other events, as it is more about building a long-term relationship.  We may spot talent that is on a 1yr contract and will continue to develop that relationship along the way.

What Advice Would You Provide Others That Want To Open Up Their Own Consulting Project Management Business?

  1. Understand What It Is You Really Want To Do. I believe there is a difference between being and independent contractor and starting your own project management business. If you are an independent contractor, then you are really focused on yourself by developing relationships/networking, social media marketing, and maybe a few publications. If you are a business owner, then you need to understand what business (PM Deliver, Training Solutions, etc) you focus should be on, then you need to develop some more business management skills, marketing, talent acquisition and development, cash-flow, etc.
  2. Spend Time Listening To Other Entrepreneurs. Follow the hash-tag on twitter, take a few out to lunch/coffee, or attend an event at one of the local incubators in your city, as it gives you the opportunity to listen to other people’s challenges, strategies, phases of launch, and this also gives you the ability to ask questions or advice from others.
  3. Gain The Support Of Your Family. Whether you believe it or not, your family is going to be involved. They may not be writing RFQs or taking calls, but their support is just as valuable.
  4. Complete a Project Charter on Yourself.
    1. What is the vision, executive summary of your business
    2. What does the business case look like
    3. Addressable market?
    4. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself
    5. ……..

Thank you Robert for taking the time to answer a few of my questions and allow me to sharing your experience with others on my blog, I really appreciate it! 🙂

Robert can be found on Twitter: @KellySolutions or @rkelly976, Blog, and his company’s website: Kelly Project Solutions

Kelly Project Solutions help our clients realize their vision by leveraging a combination of impartial project management methods and seasoned associates to tailor solutions to today’s economy, and at costs modest to the successes enjoyed by our clients. We are not distracted by created new methodologies or developing software and we do not bury our services in some other primary business.  Project & Program Management Solutions are what we focus on…focused, efficient and relevant solutions.


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