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PM Believer: Count What Counts

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.

Count What Counts

In this week’s PM Believer I am going to connect two previous posts to help you achieve success with your project goals and avoid unnecessary frustration.

In Are We There Yet I wrote about the importance of measuring progress. If you aren’t tracking progress in your project, you are flying blind and the probability of success is low.

The good news about projects is that there are tons of ways to measure progress. From measurements like percent complete to earned value, the measurement options are virtually limitless. This means that the bad news about projects is also that there are tons of ways to measure progress.

In Anything Not Everything I wrote about the importance of prioritization for project managers. Trying to accomplish everything at once is a recipe for disaster because you can’t focus on what’s most important. The classic case of spreading yourself too thin.

These points all connect in a way that can help you or hurt you in your projects. It is critical to measure success in a project and there are tons of options to do so. But, you cannot possibly measure all of these things at the same time and achieve success. This means that you need to prioritize your performance measurement efforts.

The most effective project managers measure what matters, or count what counts.

By identifying and continually measuring a small number of data points that are most relevant to your specific project, you can track progress while not driving yourself crazy with over-measuring.

How do you decide what to measure? Simply ask yourself two important questions about each potential measurement that you identify:

  • Is this measurement relevant to my ultimate goal?
  • Is this measurement something I can control?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” you have found a measurement that matters, and tracking and managing it will help you achieve your goal. If the answer is “no” to these questions, no matter how interesting the measurement is, tracking it may be more of a headache than an asset.

Two examples of the measurements that would pass this test include:

  • If your goal is to lose weight, tracking your calorie consumption and your exercise minutes (or calories burnt) would be a relevant measurement.
  • If your goal is to become a millionaire, your monthly net income (income minus spending) might be the ideal measurement.

What measurements can you use to help track progress towards your goal?

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

Are you counting what counts? Progress measurement is a critical tool for success with your project goals. Choosing the right measurements can make all of the difference between success and frustration.

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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