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What are the most important things in project management?

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What are the most important things that the project manager needs to know/do in project management? Can you list them in order of importance?
asked 3 years ago by anonymous

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This is a very general question, probably if you narrow down your question to a specific area in project management you will get a more suitable answer.

Anyway, I think the most important things in project management are (in order of importance);

- Planning: The old saying goes, if you fail to plan then you're planning to fail. This is true. Planning is probably the most important thing that a project manager has to do.

- Knowing your client's business: You cannot gather the right requirements if you don't know how your client's business run. Gathering all the (right) requirements is almost a sure bet that your project will succeed (no scope creep, no long lists of change requests, etc...)

- Having a motivated team: A motivated team is centric to the success of the project. Team members are especially motivated by a project manager with excellent leadership skills.

- Having a real project sponsor: I'm saying real because all projects have project sponsors, but most of these projects don't have a project sponsor who's there for the project and the PM in case anything happens. Real sponsors stand up for the project and for the PM at all times.

- Following a standard project management process: You can, of course, create your own PM process, but why re-invent the wheel, plus the process that you will invent will certainly have flaws (because it's not tested by millions of projects). Following an existing project management process provides the necessary framework that will make managing projects easier and (in 99.99% of the cases) better.

- Knowing who's who: As a project manager, you need to know who's who in any project you're about to manage, you need to know everyone's power and interest in the project. This is usually referred to as stakeholder analysis (an example can be found here: http://www.projectmanagementquestions.com/3142/project-stakeholder-analysis-example )

- Managing risks/issues/conflicts: It is normal for any project to have risks, issues, and conflicts, and these always have to be managed, or else, the consequences could be devastating for both the project and the project manager.
answered 3 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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