The Number One Project Management Skill – Knowing When to STOP!

Number one project management skill

Based upon feedback from thousands of project post mortem participants, the number one project management skill most requested by project teams is knowing when to STOP!  Especially when any project parameters shift – STOP!

Managing a project can feel like walking a tightrope without being able to slow down.

You need to keep on track while trying to juggle time, budget, and resources…not to mention various and often competing stakeholders’ needs. When you conduct your project post mortem, be sure you don’t have to list “we never strategically adjusted” as your big mistake. This could spell a big “zero” for your project and threaten your very job.

Here is how to adjust when project budget, scope, resources or timing parameters shift: STOP!

That’s right. Stop! The best project teams recognize key inflection points and invest the time and resources necessary to identify the implications with all key stakeholders before marching forward. The best project teams adjust project definitions, plans and execution strategies before doing more work or throwing more resources at the problem. The best project teams reflect and continuously improve as they go.

This may mean figuring out an acceptable trade-offs or making major concessions with powerful stakeholders. That is OK. The key is getting and keeping everyone on the same page with the new plan instead of just working harder or faster without properly regrouping with the team or project sponsors.  Hope and avoidance are not strong project leadership strategies.

If you liked learning about the number one project management skill, to learn more about being a successful project leader, download 5 Steps to Align Project Teams to Pull in the Same Direction

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