Project Managers – Are you a scoreboard operator or a coach?

Project management training

When I’m training and mentoring project managers I often use a sporting analogy to describe effective project management.

A scoreboard operator simply logs the up to date status of the “game” and has absolutely no effect on getting the job done – that is actually winning the game! In contrast the coach has a major influence – setting up a winning team structure by placing players in the right positions by knowing what their strengths are. I believe a champion team will beat a team of champions every day of the week!

As a project manager you need to be the coach and obviously a leader. You are there to set the framework, monitor performance and when your team is blocked – help them to unblock the issue ASAP.  If you simply put in a project report to your PMO every month by asking the percentage complete of tasks from your team you have little chance of influencing the end game at all! You need to be able to reactively change the plan when its not working. Importantly, the answers will come from seeking guidance from technical and business specialists and in the main they are right underneath your nose! – yes that’s right your project delivery team!

Think – are you a scoreboard operator or a coach!

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