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PM Believer: Do Your Homework

I am a believer in the power of project management.

As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.

Science vs. Art

As I mentioned in my Executive Status Briefing (see You Are Here), project management is both a science and an art. Beyond the formal tools and processes, there are other habits and techniques that project managers use to achieve success. Today’s post explores one of these aspects of the art of project management.

Do Your Homework

Imagine that you are a project manager who specializes in event planning. You are an expert at contracting venues, engaging presenter, selecting a/v equipment, building agendas and making it all come together in the end. This is definitely an exercise in project management at its finest.

One morning your boss comes to you and says “you’re a project manager, right? I want you to lead the selection and implementation of our new finance software package.” This request would send chills down your spine, right? You don’t know anything about implementing financial software. You are not a subject matter expert.

Project managers and subject matter experts are different and they have different roles in projects. A core premise of project management is that project managers need not have deep expertise in the subject area of their project. A project is a project and a project manager can manage any project with the same skills and processes.

While that sounds good on paper, any project manager will tell you that this is simply not reality. It is much harder to successfully manage a project when you don’t have any subject matter expertise.

So what’s a project manager to do? Easy… do your homework!

When you start any project in a professional or a personal setting, the first (and ongoing) step towards success involves learning. Make an effort to learn everything you can about the subject matter so you can be the most effective project manager you can be.

Instead of panicking when your boss asks you to lead the selection of the new finance software, do your homework instead. Start by learning what the goals of the project are and researching the leading software tools that meet that need. You may even be able to find sample project plans you can use to get started.

This same starting point can apply to your personal projects too.

If your personal goal is to lose weight, start by learning the basics of weight loss, exercise and nutrition.

If your goal is to get rich, get to Googling the basics of investing, debt payoff strategies and ways to reduce your expenses.

Knowledge is power and project managers need that power. Regardless of what your goal is, there is a ton of information that is freely available to you to use to build expertise. It is just sitting there and waiting for you to do your homework.

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

There is a misconception that any project manager can lead any project regardless of subject matter knowledge. This expectation can set you up for failure before you even get started. But you can use a secret weapon to help you succeed.

How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.

Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.

About Operation Melt

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

Published inPM Believer

Disclaimer: The Operation Melt website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.

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