Project Practitioners > Are You Complete...or Incomplete? The answer makes a difference

Are You Complete...or Incomplete? The answer makes a difference

By Randy Englund

Do you have…or are ready to develop…a complete portfolio of skills, knowledge, and attitude that is the right set for you to excel in today’s competitive environment?

Complete incompleteMuch like organic proteins may be complete or incomplete, completeness in the context of people at work taps your passion, persistence and patience. Achieving outstanding project and organizational results requires passionate belief in your projects and desire to improve. While this comes easier with worthwhile projects, changed thinking may be required on challenging or questionable projects. That takes time and dedicated effort. A complete project manager needs to persist, much like an infectious mosquito, with all project stakeholders, and use your patience to get results.

In contrast, many or perhaps most of us are incomplete, when it comes to skills, knowledge, and attitude that lead to consistent project successes. As a consequence, project failures are all too common. We suffer from missed deadlines, insufficient resources and support, missed commitments, surprises, new challenges unprepared to meet, unhappy team members and customers, career stagnation, unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, perhaps even depression. We think we are doing our job, after all we were trained as professionals, but we appear myopic and blind to the bigger picture. Struggles are all too common. We are victims of politics, disappointed that our ideas are not accepted, and do not get others on our side. Strategic goals are a foreign concept. No wonder we are stuck on a plateau. Many of us often feel incomplete because of our continuous desire to improve. We need to squarely face personal deficiencies. Embrace a strong belief that continuously moving forward and improving needs to be cultivated by every project manager—lifelong continuous learning.

There is hope. When operating in our strengths, regardless of personality—being introverted or extroverted, quiet or loud—we can get along with others, share the credit, and complement each other. Being mediocre or overconfident are not good options. When we pair up with people and team members who possess complementary strengths and skills, we become more complete. Opposites can thrive in exquisite harmony.

Success in any environment largely depends upon completing successful projects, and successful projects get done by skilled project managers and teams, supported by effective project sponsors. Integration of knowledge and skills makes the difference in achieving optimized outcomes.

The Complete Project Manager extends fundamental knowledge of project management to integrate key people, team, business, organizational, and technical skills, drawing upon multiple disciplines for knowledge, practices, and insights. This concept builds upon the Project Management Institute’s Talent Triangle that addresses Technical, Leadership, Strategy and Business skills. The “right” set of skills to achieve “completeness” depends on individual starting points, aptitude, attitude, desires, and supporting context.

It is also a good idea to establish your brand—brand “YOU”. That way people sense and appreciate consistency in what to expect from your involvement and efforts. Getting results on every assignment and using social media appropriately, including blog postings, are ways to do this.

An organic approach to project management is appropriate:  adopt, adapt, and apply effective concepts from nature to make organizations more project…and people…friendly, leading to greater value‐added outcomes and better economic results. Embrace a mindset that your actions help create the right environment to “grow” people to produce their best work. This belief states that all leaders need to create healthy environments for people to consistently and sustainably achieve project success.

Alf ran_9263In an experiment during a recent seminar, colleague Alfonso Bucero and I asked participants to define what "incomplete" means to them.  The overwhelming response was: new challenges they are not prepared for or are ill equipped to deal with. In contrast, more complete means having adaptive responsiveness, whereas they can resolve challenging situations in ways that do not disrupt their integrity...meaning, they can achieve greater success.  Optimal responses result in creative adaptation that allow people to function at higher levels than before the challenge.  Integrating disparate disciplines and skills enriches their experiences of life and helps them to grow and be more effective.

Make a commitment today to become more complete.

This "tool" helps to assess and track your development:  Molecular spider

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