Reflecting upon the last few days, the first thing that comes to mind is people. Every lecture, every session, every interaction I had somehow all came back to people. How to handle this situation or that one. What methodologies to use. People are at the core of project management. Someone has a request, a group of individuals or team implements that request and the project manager provides guidance and direction to move the project forward.
Project managers provide motivation, inspiration and guidance to get things done and achieve the predetermined objectives of the project. These directions come with trials and tribulations and can be fraught with frustration, agitation and uncertainty. The job of the project manager is to navigate these rough waters and get the proverbial boat to its destination. To do this, the project manager needs effective leadership skills.
Another concept that kept coming up was change. At its core, a project is an object of change—a request to change something. Project managers work with how people deal with change to reach a specific outcome. Some people are good with change and some are not. But every organization or company deals with change in some way, whether it is large or small. Each change has significant risk and contributing factors to its success. The projects that can facilitate change in an efficient manner and include collaboration from stakeholders tend to succeed at a much higher rate.
My final takeaway from PMI Congress was the idea of integrating creativity and innovation with project management. Creativity and innovation are important to formulating processes and standards for projects that will ensure success and provide guidance for future endeavors. Sometimes reinvention can provide better solutions to persistent issues.
I was very taken with the fact that everyone I came into contact with at PMI Congress had great intentions. It was clear that we all are after the same thing: great projects that flow, are successful, are collaborative and get the job done. Each of us, regardless of company size, industry or experience, is striving for the best outcomes for our customers.