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Project Manager = Problem Solver

Project Manager = Problem SolverProject management = project solving. The best project managers I have met are problem solvers. Projects are, after all, problems to be solved. A new application to support a growing customer basis, the release of a new product to compete more effectively, opening a new office, or launching a new process within the organization to increase efficiencies in how the work gets done. These are all projects that have been initiated to solve problems.

Project managers who are great problem solvers do the following when they are first assigned a project:

  • Determine the reason behind the project – what problem is being solved by implementing the project
  • Share that information with the project team to ensure a common understanding and agreement around the project goals and objective
  • Approach the project planning from a problem solving perspective
    • Collaborate with the team on options for solving the problem (what path will you take to implement the project)
    • Evaluate the options for implementing the project against a number of criteria: budget available, timeline for completion, risks, quality of the project, resources available to work on the project, stakeholder requirements
    • Choose the best approach to implement the project based on what makes the most sense based on the criteria reviewed

Project managers who look are strong problem solvers are better able to manage issues that arise on the project, deal with changes that must occur and better manage their stakeholders overall. They look at each project individually rather than trying to fit each project into a box and expect that each project is run exactly the same way.

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