They were righteous and glorious, organized and well-informed. Their projects were always on time, on budget, and in scope. Soon, their skills spread to their personal lives. Giving regular status reports to family members while doing laundry and creating Gantt charts to plan get-togethers became the norm. Was it wrong to bring such talent and aptitude outside the workplace? Or were they simply holding themselves to a higher standard? Finally, they choose to let the world in on their secret, the seven virtues of project management.
While you may not think this virtue could possibly be related to project management, it is! The original meaning of the word is “moral purity”. Accordingly, one must elevate themselves to the highest level by taking accountability for what has been committed to. When promising to send a weekly status update, it must be done on the date and time promised. Otherwise, one could lose integrity, trust, and respect – or worse, their job.
Ah, temperance. In relation to project management, one should think of it as moderation, creating a balance between being too much of a micro-manager and too hands-off. Guide your team, don’t sit behind them and point out typos. Remove obstacles, don’t create so much process that they can’t get their work done. Once balance is reached, the team will practically run themselves. However, when celebrating a successful project, a proper team “cheers” is always in order!
Never a need to be selfish! One must always think of what other’s may need, especially when it comes to sharing what is already free. Give others visibility to status reports, resource assignments, and your prioritized backlog of work. Transparency and proactive communication is so simple that you’ll be aching to create more dashboards for all to see.
Although it’s number four on the list, this is the most important virtue a project manager can have. One must take care of their business right away, and do the proper research without delay. There’s good reason that the phase “due diligence” has been coined. The act of carefully taking reasonable steps in order to make the best decision is one that goes back to the beginning of time. Though, Adam certainly did not do his due diligence since he clearly chose the wrong apple.
There will always be others who are behind us on their path to project management enlightenment, and in this case one must display patience. It’s important to remember that we were all new once and at the beginning of our own journey. Surely the capacity to tolerate trouble without getting angry or upset is a virtue one mustn’t pass up.
Search for your inner humbleness. Dig deep. Having a modest view of one’s own importance means that others can shine and be a star. Don’t be afraid to give up the spotlight, especially if it’s in an area you are strong. Try delegating work to those who need a boost and can handle to extra work.
Perhaps the easiest project management virtue to enact, kindness can be shown in many ways. Thank a team member for staying late so your project will stay on schedule, be aware of how much time your team is spending across all their assignments, and refrain from overloading their schedules. Or simply be clear about expectations with your customers and team. Everyone will appreciate the extra consideration, and you’ll see it come back to you the next time asking for a favor.
While in the past you may have been a sinner and followed the 7 Deadly Sins of Project Management there’s still time to right your wrongs. If you’re looking to do more, offer help when not asked or mentor someone new to project management. The world is constantly evolving and so must you! With this handy list of project management virtues, you’ll be free as a bird to improve yourself and those around you.
Note: Innotas does not promote any religious affiliation. However, Innotas does like to have fun with a scary theme!