Chris is a freelance technical project manager living in Brooklyn, NY. I manage projects remotely for clients around the world. I write about technical project management in the freelance economy and the future of work.
Thoughts on Technical Project Management in the Freelance Economy and the Future of Work
Trying Hard to Keep It Simple
Project management should be simple. There's no reason for project management to become a complex monster that feeds on precious project resources. Project management should maximize the effectiveness of resources. It shouldn't consume them.
Here are some dead simple project management principles I try and follow. I review them before initiating a project. I also come back to them once a project leaps forward from the starting gate.
I find them to be a grounding and refocusing tool. They help prevent managing a project from becoming bigger than the project itself.
Do set the path to a successful outcome. Do keep the path clear and stay out of the way. Don't block the path.
Do set the path to a successful outcome by developing, updating and communicating the path. Do keep the path clear by removing roadblocks. Do give your team what they need to make progress down the path, toward the successful outcome.
Do ask questions when they benefit the project. Do ask the hard questions when necessary.
Don't block the path. Don't get in the way. Don't impede progress. Don't establish process related roadblocks on the path.
Don't stop people smarter than you from doing what they need to do. Don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something.
Don't ask unnecessary questions for your own personal benefit. Don't shy away from asking the hard questions when necessary.
Do set your team up for success. Do give credit to team members where and when credit is due. Don't take undue credit when the team succeeds.
Do take responsibility when things don't go well. Don't blame the team when a project goes off-track.
Do celebrate small wins along the way. Do use the small wins to build momentum toward the bigger goal.
Do try and have some fun as you proceed down the path toward a successful outcome 🙂
This post is based on an answer I wrote on Quora to the question "What are the top do's and don'ts that a new project manager should remember?"
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