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What Does a Project Manager Do?

What does a great project manager do? Did you know that over fifty percent of the global workforce is working in projects?  It would be fair to say that having some sort of project management know-how could definitely support all the people working in their organization’s projects.  Typically project managers are in charge with a focus to get projects done efficiently, in a timely manner, within budget and to lead the team contributing towards project success.  After over 20 years as a PM, here are the Moves of Excellent PMs to make a difference ~ please feel free to add comments in the comment section below if you feel I missed anything!

Project Managers…

  1. understand that the #1 way to build a reputation is one successful project after another.
  2. are obsessed around having a successful project vs. growing their income (and so their income soars).
  3. listen more than they speak. And they deliver more than they promise.
  4. use their most valuable hours to do their most valuable work
  5. understand that you can’t manage a large EPC project if you hire mediocre people.
  6. solve problems, great project managers prevent it
  7. understand that what the amateur calls genius, the professional calls practice.
  8. are fanatics around building a systems-driven project delivery. Everything has a system built around it. This ensures consistently fantastic results.
  9. deliver results versus voice rationalizations.
  10. provoke their project team to do work they never imagined they could do.
  11. know that good enough just isn’t good enough. Outright perfection is their ideal.
  12. have discovered that extra hard work is Success’ true best friend.
  13. use flight time to get ahead and review their plans vs. playing Angry Birds and watching bad movies.
  14. get that progress often shows up in failure’s clothing.
  15. invest deeply in their education and development knowing that the fastest way to double your net worth is to triple your rate of learning.
  16. face angry customers as breathtakingly great opportunities to learn how to deliver the project even better.
  17. hold themselves to performance + ethical standards higher than anyone could ever expect of them. Read and understand the ethical guidelines for a PMP.
  18. make the time to think, plan and prepare – understanding that clarity breeds mastery. And there’s no point in brilliantly executing the wrong things.
  19. get that their 3 most valuable assets are their mental focus, physical energy and internal creativity. And so they protect them ferociously.
  20. appreciate that Leadership’s no longer about ensuring compliance but inspiring connections, being of service and getting great things done.
  21. get that confidence grows via the doing of difficult things. And so they pursue discomfort.
  22. spend their days doing real work versus fake work. And getting important things done versus being really busy being busy.
  23. understand that the greatest gift you can give a teammate (or a customer or your child) is the gift of your undivided attention.
  24. challenge the way they worked yesterday for the sake of even bigger worktomorrow.
  25. are good at starting things. And even better at finishing them.
  26. stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional project managers adore.
  27. plan the week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
  28. are on time and keep promises.
  29. take on projects no one else will take on. Set goals no one else will do.
  30. read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter. (no excuse; you get it all online…)
  31. understand that ordinary people talk about their goals. Project leaders get them done. With speed.
  32. stand for iconic. They go for legendary and make history.

If you’re ready to make these master moves a part of the way you work and are set to unleash the potential of your effectiveness in your project, then there is no time like the present to get started.
Make these moves part of your daily practice and make success a habit!


Peter Wyss