Do you want to perform at leading your programs and have fun while doing it?
Do you want to drive programs (large projects) by yourself, learn and become efficient, rather than delegating program management to others?
Check your habits
Efficient program management is done by using active and dynamic habits, driving action and execution, being smart, subtle, structured, adaptable, pushing, being accountable, and being convincing. It’s a leader’s job, not a metronome’s job!
Bad program management habits are passive, such as: being distant and administrative, lacking in creativity, and having a poorly-thought-out execution plan. Then it becomes a laborious and boring task of merely following the progress of others, reading the meters, and monitoring risks with very little value added to the process. Operating within an organization with a weak or inefficient framing structure is also detrimental to success.
Each program presents a completely different situation, each event requires analysis & finesse to understand it well, to visualize the consequences, and make the right moves.
→ Coaching and/or mentoring is an excellent way to develop these critical skills.
Look ahead and seek advice
Who really helps the program manager to perform, steer correctly, structure, anticipate, see far, feel the wind changing, and avoid obstacles?
Wouldn’t you rather be accompanied to steer your programs well?
This support can be given to a project manager in several ways:
- By their direct manager, peers, and colleagues
- By hands-on coaching by a senior consultant
- On their own with training, self-analysis or tutorials
My advice is to use all 3!
Don’t you want to take pleasure in piloting the execution, to really be a pilot at the controls rather than being in the passenger seat counting the miles traveled and the errors of the route?
This will avoid the alternative scenarios (which are not only frustrating but can be very costly):
- Throwing in the towel, failing in your projects, or delivering a poor result.
- Have the project management taken out of your hands and outsourced or handed off to another employee
Education gives the basics – Senior Mentoring is the 10X factor
To perform, education and training really help, but be careful, as they only provide some fundamentals and a good framework to better manage your program! Is a certified project manager “PMP, Prince2, Agile…whatever” a good project manager?
→ No! – at least, not at first! It can even be a destabilizing factor for some and a refuge to hide behind frameworks for others, and to become an ‘administrative and not very creative’ project manager. It doesn’t replace common sense, humanity, listening capabilities, and the use of tricks based on experience.
The other way to perform, which is much more powerful and quicker, is to call on the support of an experienced senior manager to help a project manager perform and become a top performer. To be their coach/mentor.
Getting help on a day-to-day basis or during key phases makes all the difference in the quality of the execution, in the pleasure you take in leading, and in the experience you have. It becomes a fun game, like a board game, a chess game, or a quest, that you play with others, that you share – and win – as a team.
To share my personal experience, this is how I learned to top perform at program leading myself – through coaching throughout my progression. I have been fortunate to be accompanied and coached since the beginning of my career, by top guns in project management, and I learned at high speed. While keeping the steering wheel in my hands, I was helped by co-pilots, to guide me to avoid traps and help me anticipate. I’m so glad that I accepted this help, advice, and understood all the benefits of sharing and staying in a learning mindset all the time. The mentoring helped me deliver better results and at the same time groomed me to become a mentor.
Keep control of the steering wheel
It’s important to mention that being helped or coached does not mean delegating accountability. While learning, I have always kept the steering wheel, assumed responsibility for the outcomes, and never delegated neither the steering nor the core communication.
There is nothing better for learning fast and creating good habits than to drive with a reassuring helper.
If this resonates with you, if you want to perform (or make others on your team perform) as a program manager, to succeed in the programs you are entrusted with, while keeping the steering wheel and shining, schedule a call with me.