At the APM National Conference for Women in Project Management last week, a panel of four project professionals attempted to answer ‘what does a progressive project professional look like?’ and took questions from a packed auditorium, providing their insight and thoughts on what will give you the edge in the future.
Chaired by Chris Bevan, Chairman of Provek Limited, the panel were: Kelly Rosebender (Lloyds Banking Group), Andy Dunn (Jacobs), Rob Leslie-Carter (Arup) and Sorrel Gilbert who runs her own consultancy.
In summary, here are their top 10 tips and observations on what qualities a progressive project professional might possess :
- Be a real model rather than a role model - Inspire people about you by showing them the benefits of what you're working on
- Project managers need to be leaders of change
- Engage with everybody – you need to listen rather than tell
- Your emotional and creative skills make the difference - soft skills will become increasingly important, we need to be adaptable
- Traditionally project managers have been seen as editors of creativity but project managers need to experiment in order to harness a diverse workforce
- Talking about the benefits of projects engages people more – otherwise they will only remember the failures
- Create the right environment, you can have all the tools but you need to bring everyone and everything together
- If you want your skill set to be transferable work on continuous improvement, challenge yourself and don't be afraid to take on new opportunities as they come
- Stay cutting edge by leading and inspiring great people - people are everything
- It sounds obvious, but in order to be a progressive project manager, you need to be progressive!