How would you summarize project management in one word?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

It's a tall task to try to whittle down a description of any profession to one word, let alone one that is as dynamic as a project manager.

Let's consider the five project management trends enterprises "simply cannot ignore," as presented by IT Pro Portal. Do you notice any trends?

  • Plan a project in phases instead of all at the outset
  • Allow project planners to have a hand in the completion of the work
  • Let stakeholders, including customers, participate in a project
  • Gather feedback about your project through online technologies
  • Promote collaboration through each phase of a project

Do any words come to mind as you search for a common thread? If not, maybe the opinion of Manufacturing Business Technology's Scott Grzesiak will help you come up with something.

"Despite your best intentions, one thing or another will likely suffer because you just can't get to everything as quickly as you'd like, or can't spend as much time on something as you know you should," he wrote last week. "It's reality. Set your priorities, communicate the vision, and do what you can to maximize the talent of each one of your stakeholders."

If there is, in fact, just one word that could be used to describe the current state of project management, it would be "adaptive." Project managers need to constantly adjust to unexpected budget constraints, the shifting demands of stakeholders, uncertain timetables and countless other factors.

We can no longer pretend to know everything when we begin a project.

The highest-performing project managers understand this, which is why they work to constantly better their professional credentials. As they earn project management PDUs, they don't simply read through the exercises—they absorb the knowledge they need to become more agile leaders and apply it to the projects they lead.

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