Benchmark Business Group

The Project Manager Mindset

August 1, 2017

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In a small business, there is never a lack of projects to be completed. In fact, many of the projects that are meant to take your business to the next level often stall due to the lack of available resources and talent to keep projects moving forward. In order for a project to succeed there needs to be one person that is accountable for driving the project forward. One person that ensures that all the obstacles small businesses run into: not enough time, not enough resources, etc., are obstacles to move beyond and not dead ends. The catch is that the accountable person doesn't, and in fact shouldn't, always have to be the business owner. Your business needs to have a structure for project management and a team of people who are trained to use the structure to lead and manage projects successfully.

Project management is a skillset that is often expected and even vital to a company's success, but is not often taught. As a small business you have three choices:
  • Ignore the Problem:
    Accept that project management is lacking and allow your business's growth to suffer as a result. 
  • Hire Your Way out of the Problem:
    Ensure that your hiring processes are geared toward finding the skillset of a project manager. Hiring should be a piece of the solution, especially long term, but often the need for employees with project management skills is needed now, with current employees, and hiring isn't always an option. 
  • Redesign A New Solution:
    On a short term basis, small business owners need project managers TODAY not in a few weeks or months. The answer is if you want different results then you need to redesign how your business handles project management. The solution is not just hiring. It's creating the structures and training employees to become successful project managers.  
This month we'll be focusing on how to redesign your business to develop project managers through structures and training. We start with mindset. How someone approaches project management often determines the success of the project.

We discussed the mindset of a manager in our Business Insight in June. We encourage you to create a similar document for your project managers. The document should simply outline the Point of View, or way of thinking, that a project manager needs to be successful in your business. It's important that when you create this document it is accurate to your culture and environment. Sometimes this means that you must take a good hard look at what causes projects to derail in your company including your own ability to let go of the work. A sample Point of View for a Project Manager can be found here. Remember this is a sample and will need your unique spin on project management.

This week we challenge you to use this document to answer the question, "How do successful project managers think in my business?"

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