Project Practitioners > Competent project managers

Competent project managers

By Alfonso Bucero

Competence is the ability to perform a specific task, action or function successfully. We live difficult busines times, so organizations are looking for competent project managers.

Project management competence goes beyond words. It’s leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how, and know that they want to follow you. I always admire project managers who display high competence. They are professionals always ready to learn and always moving one step beyond. They are people without fear to make mistakes, people able to recognize it and also able to learn from them.

Competence is a key to credibility, and credibility is the key to influence others. Most of team members follow competent project managers. If you want to cultivate competence, my suggestions are as follows:

1.       Show up every day: I believe that all things come to him who waits (cultivate patience). The project manager is usually under a lot of pressure. My advice is to stop for some minutes every day and relax. Find some time to do some phisical exercise every day. Highly competent people take it a step farther. They are people that come ready to play every day, and in order to be ready you must feel good physically and mentally.


2.       Keep improving: All highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing and improving. If you are focused on your project stakeholder’s reactions you will learn a lot every day. Do a retrospective analysis, at least at the project end. Involve your project stakeholders to do that, listen to them, learn and share best practices.


3.       Follow through with excellence: I’ve never met a person I considered competent who didn’t follow through. Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillfull execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. Be persistent.


4.       Accomplish more than expected: Highly competent people always go the extra mile. Good enough is never good enough. Think, reflect and moveforward.


5.       Inspire others: Highly competent leaders do more than perform at a high level. They inspire and motivate their people to do the same. Competent project managers must lead by example, giving the benefit of the doubt to their people, allowing some mistakes and coaching them through a learning experience.

Competent project managers in my opinion are:

1.       Those who can see what needs to happen

2.       Those who can make it happen

3.       Those who can make things happen when it really counts

My suggestion is that you, as project manager, must improve your competence doing the following:

·        Get your head in the game: If you have been mentally or emotionally detached from your work, it is time to reengage.

·        Redefine the standard: If you are not performing at a consistently high level, re examine your standards

·        Find three ways to improve: Nobody keeps improving without being intentional about it. Do a little research to find three things you can do to improve your professional skills. Then dedicate the time and money to follow through on them.

Remember that you are as good as your private “standards”. So, review your “standards” because people has no limit to progress, learn and move forward. At the end of this week, take a while and mke your plan to improve your competency level.

Related Links
Competent project managers are constantly aware of those around them, and a great way to develop that awareness is through utilization of a Project Stakeholder/Influencer Assessment and Communication Plan. Learn about leadership development and how to apply it to your role in the paper How do I develop myself as a leader? Ever wonder how great leaders always seem to have everything managed? Learn how you can figure out where your time is going every day.

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