A Project Management Solution and the Answer to Overcome Imposter Syndrome comes down to the same project management tool that keeps you aware of the status of your projects/phases and on top of meetings, problems, people, and deadlines!
- How to Be a Better Project Manager
- Stay Operationally Aware and On Top of Things
- The PM Solution that is the Secret to Everything!
- How Your Project RAID Log Will Help You Consistently CYA!
- Status Reports
- Lessons Learned
- Project Dependencies
How to Be a Better Project Manager
First, Get Your Head Space Right
“I am in way over my head.”
“I have no business doing this job.”
“I am totally not worthy of this role.”
“There is no way I’m qualified to do this.”
Have you ever told yourself this? Perhaps you are plagued with those negative thoughts that creep in and have you questioning, “Are you really qualified,” after starting your new role. Or, maybe you keep telling yourself, “It seems like it would pick a more experienced PM than me to run this project.”
You can’t be confident in what decisions you are making if you have negative thoughts running through your head, causing you to lose confidence in yourself.
I coach a lot of PM Happy Hour members, and many have expressed these fears, which is an Imposter Syndrome infection of the mind! That’s OK – many competent, highly capable individuals, especially project managers, find themselves with this affliction at one time or another.
Not only can Imposter Syndrome take the fun and motivation out of your job, but we also see it holding many professionals back from their potential.
So, on the path to becoming a better project manager, one must overcome this self-doubt.
Kate and I delve deeper into this subject in Episode 76 of PM Happy Hour and share our experience dealing with and overcoming Imposter Syndrome with our listeners so they can shine despite self-doubt.
Lastly, Stay Operationally Aware and On Top of Things
Now, Wait, that’s easier said than done, right? Stay Operationally Aware and on Top of Things. That’s It!?!? It can’t be that simple, or can it?
Years ago, a mentor of mine introduced me to a PM solution that wasn’t the latest and greatest but a tried-and-true methodology to track and document the most critical aspects of a project. I was hesitant that this simple solution could be the answer to managing my projects.
But, I trusted and decided to take a chance and leveraged the insights of this project management technique, and yes, it delivered the results promised. It kept me operationally aware and on top of things, and it changed my career and took me and my projects to the next level.
The PM Solution that is the Secret to Everything!
Meetings, problems, people, deadlines! Project management can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get defeated when projects start falling behind and deadlines are looming.
This simple solution is the secret to managing projects and staying on top of everything. It is the reason for my previous project success and the approach I take with all my projects – and this pm solution is none other than a RAID log.
The answer to your project goals and the tool that will help you keep operationally aware and on top of your projects. Yep, it is a RAID log.
Few things build the confidence of your team, stakeholders, and yourself better than consistently demonstrating that you are on top of your projects and holding yourself and others accountable. A RAID log does this. It’s an indispensable resource; anybody running any project should use one.
Now you could be unfamiliar with a RAID log, and I suggest you read our article on What is a RAID log and the section How to create a RAID log to familiarize yourself with the basics.
How Your Project RAID Log Will Help You Consistently CYA!
Although CYA (cover your ass) fits here, I’m not a fan of that term or the underlying philosophy. We want to be proactive and solve problems, not focus on keeping ourselves and our team from getting into trouble with our managers.
The reality is things will go wrong at some point in your projects. When it does, management/stakeholders will question you about what went wrong, and you will have to explain what you and your team did about it.
One of the worst feelings in the world to prepare for this line of questioning is working late into the night, combing through emails and project documentation to justify your team’s historical decisions.
However, if you keep a RAID log up to date, you are covered – it is a detailed historical log of your project. Every issue is recorded. Every date slip, every decision made, and every response to risks.
The level of detail you track in your log depends on the conditions requested of you and your team. Whatever the level of detail, always spend a few extra minutes a week keeping your RAID log up to date. It will save you hours combing through past emails, calendars, and your memory trying to reconstruct historical events and justify your team’s actions.
More RAID Advantages
Are you submitting regular status reports for your projects to your stakeholders? If not, you should be. Status reports should include delivery progress, budget updates, and critical items from your RAID log.
Why RAID items? These critical actionable topics (Issues, Action Items, Decisions, and Risks) are typically the center of discussion during most meetings. Keeping these items up to date in your RAID log and reporting on the progress made on these discussed items provides a clear understanding with stakeholders that you are operationally aware of and on top of your project. Status reports are a breeze when you can simply copy and paste data from your RAID into your status communications.
The best time to capture lessons learned is as you learn them! Capturing lessons learned allows you to provide a constructive response to both problems and pleasant surprises. So why not use a tool that helps you stay operationally aware.
For example, in your meeting where you resolve an issue or remediate a risk, you can prompt the team, “OK, now what are the lessons we have to take away from this experience?” Documenting the Lessons Learned from project operations may be one of the most valuable ways to extend your RAID log.
Do you ever feel like projects are falling behind because your team is waiting for a task dependency to continue? Tracking dependencies in a RAID log can be one of the best ways to turn troubled projects around and can be crucial in managing multiple program workstreams.
This project management solution is a way for you to track and quickly pull up all the dependencies for an organization. Having this information at your fingertips will be worth it in the long run and will make it easier to hold responsible parties accountable.
So the answer is Yes! Staying Operationally Aware and on Top of Things for any project can be this simple. You can find out more about the methodology of a RAID log by reading more of our articles on the subject, or you can get my book, The Ultimate Guide to RAID Log!
However, RAIDLOG.com does have an affordable (and for a limited time Free) solution that will let you say goodbye to excel and hello to automation.
A Platform, A Methodology, A Solution for Managing Projects
Save your project before it has to be rescued!
Projects don’t go wrong because of your project plan or user stories. They go wrong because of unmanaged Risks, neglected Action Items, unresolved Issues, and poor Decision making.
RAIDLOG.com is a purpose-built project management tool that is coming to market and helps you keep your RAID log simple, accessible, and secure.
Why keep struggling with a spreadsheet-based RAID log when RAIDLOG.com can aggregate data to the master RAID log, provide central reporting and access control, and is easy to use and share with project shareholders and team members.
Bring order to the chaos in your project management life!
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