Thanks again to David Friedman for sharing such an important fundamental:

GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Establish mutually understood objectives and deadlines for all projects, issues, and commitments. Where appropriate, confirm your communication by asking others to repeat back their understanding to ensure total clarity and agreement.

I presented this to our team in a group email and asked a specific member of the team to take the lead and start a conversation. Then asked the others to ‘respond all’ with follow-up discussion. Here is some of what we got back. No edits, just raw personal insight and collaboration.

John C: This sounds like a project manager, we all are. I like to have all meetings with written attainable objectives spelled out. Who is to complete them and by when. Follow up is the best cure for things not going upside down. I like to have everyone sign off on what is to be done and by when. Always following up with phone calls and emails before the deadline. So that being said here is a definition.

Definition –  Project Manager should do !

A project manager is the person responsible for leading a project from its inception to execution. This includes planning, execution and managing the people, resources and scope of the project. Project managers must have the discipline to create clear and attainable objectives and to see them through to successful completion. The project manager has full responsibility and authority to complete the assigned project.

A project manager’s responsibilities include overall management, but he or she is seldom directly involved with the activities that actually produce the end result. The position also oversees any associated products and services, project tools and techniques to help ensure good practices. In addition, project managers are responsible for recruiting and building project teams, and making projections about the project’s risks and uncertainties.

Managing relationships and personalities is a huge part of being a project manager. Teams must work, plan and communicate well together. The ability to collaborate and maintain successful team member relationships is crucial. Friction, conflict and honest disagreements are part of the creative process, but the project manager must be sure these do not destroy the project. Making sure team members feel valued, recognizing and praising superior work, and maintaining a quality working environment for all team members will aid in this human management effort.

Jim S: In our fast-paced environment to many times understandable communication gets lost in the delivery! Did I do it by phone, text, email etc. I know at times I appear to ask too many questions from all our team partners. That is because when I deliver out the message to my customers I want to make sure I understand the details I have been given. Once I feel clear on the message I intend to pass along then I want to make sure I hear back from my customer. I find both a phone call and email helps clarify our course of action so we are all headed in the right direction. I believe my email tag line says this best:

“If everyone is moving forward together then success takes care of itself!”  ~Henry Ford

Reading responses like those above are quite humbling to me. It is encouraging that we have individuals with this much depth to them. A special thanks to our team for their participation. We believe it is a privilege to learn something new each day. For more information, contact OCP here.