Standing out amidst the crowd

Standing out amidst the crowd

In one of my classes, I had an interesting conversation with the students who were all future project managers. Their question was: what is the added value of a project manager?

In a world where project management is increasingly present and the majority of project management specialists are certified PMP or hold a university degree in project management, how do you stand out and provide an added value?

Here are my 3 elements that can increase the value of project managers:

The most important element of project management is communication. Beyond all technical skills, communication is and always will be the backbone of our profession. If I had to take a course, I would improve my communication. How many projects are poorly executed because people did not know what to do, the messages were confusing and the goal unclear?

The great thing about communication is that it is an eternal journey. The more you practice on improving, the more you receive feedback, the more you improve. Have a communication coach, someone who can see you in action and advise you on how to improve. Take advantage of every opportunity to increase the level your communication. I truly believe that the more your increase the quality of your communication, the more your value on the market will increase. Improving your communication skills is like renovating a bathroom or a kitchen for the resale of a house, the reward is 10 times more than the investment.

Give yourself communication challenges: explain complex concepts or put yourself in danger with difficult groups. The harder the communication challenge the bigger the reward!

The second way to increase your value is to be able to use a business and strategic language. Again, project techniques are useless here to help you on this.

Understanding the business case of your project and asking questions about the benefits and downsides is essential. If you do not have in mind why the project was undertaken at all time, you can not add value. Projects should have a purpose! You must embody this purpose.

The third element is to continue to sharpen your knowledge in project management. You are a project management specialist, so keep reading, keep training yourself and seek certifications. Too many project managers focus on the tasks and do not take the time to improve their techniques. It is by remaining up to date with developments in project management combined with an improved communication and a better understanding of the business aspect that you will truly become an accomplished project manager.


Standing out amidst the crowd


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