Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager Book Summary - Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager Book explained in key points
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Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager summary

Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood

A FranklinCovey Title

4.6 (380 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

'Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager' by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood offers practical advice to people without a formal project management background on how to effectively manage projects in their professional or personal lives.

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    Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager
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    Chapter 1. Being an inspiring leader is the most important part of project management.

    In today’s workplace, project management is about a lot more than technical know-how. One of the most important factors is your ability to lead people. Without leadership skills, your project is doomed from the start. That’s why you need to learn to radiate informal authority. Doing so is all about inspiring people with your character rather than with your job title.

    Let's look at two examples of informal authority: Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Neither of them had formal authority and yet they both inspired millions of people to action. Their authority came from their strength of character – not from a position of power. OK, you might not be at the head of a social movement but if you want to inspire people to give you their best work, you need to behave like a true leader.

    With decades of experience in hand, the authors of this book have identified four fundamental behaviors that all leaders should have. So before we dive into the five processes of project management, let’s first cover the fundamental behaviors of effective leaders.

    The first and most important leadership behavior is to demonstrate respect. This is something that a project manager can’t fall short on. When crunch time hits, leaders don’t give in to stress – they become more respectful, not less. When a deadline is approaching, they might bring in lunch for the whole team. It’s the little things that count when it comes to respect.

    The second of the four fundamental behaviors is to listen first, and talk second. This is especially important when time is of the essence. You might be thinking, “What if a deadline is fast approaching and I don’t have time to listen?” Well, think about it this way. By taking a moment to slow things down and listen to your colleague’s problems, you’ll actually end up speeding things up. This is because responding impatiently to your teammate will be interpreted as disrespectful. And it’s likely their productivity will decrease as a result.

    The third fundamental behavior is to clarify expectations. Many unofficial project managers take a minimalist approach when it comes to this. They tell individual team members what is expected of them, but not how it fits into the bigger picture. This leads to people feeling their work isn’t valued. Instead, show your colleagues how their work fits into the big picture. This will keep them motivated by helping them see the true value of their labor.

    Finally, the fourth fundamental behavior is to always practice accountability. A good way to think about this is to follow the golden rule – treat others as you want to be treated. For example, if you’re managing a project but continuously show up late for meetings, then others will follow suit. And how can you hold them accountable if you aren’t setting a gold standard yourself?

    So, there you have it. Four fundamental behaviors that will equip you with informal leadership authority, allowing you to inspire others to give their best. With these behaviors in hand, you can now move on to tackling the more technical aspects of project management. So let’s get started with the first one – project initiation.

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    What is Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager about?

    Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager (2015) examines the phenomenon that so many people face – they’re tasked with managing projects but have no formal training in project management. If you’re in this situation, don’t worry. By learning how to combine inspiring leadership with effective project management, you’re guaranteed to increase the chances of your next project succeeding.

    Who should read Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager?

    • Employees who have unexpectedly been given the lead on a project
    • Anyone who’s struggled with project management in the past
    • People looking to rock an upcoming or ongoing project

    About the Author

    Kory Kogon is a businesswoman and author. She’s currently a vice president at FranklinCovey, as well being the company’s Global Practice Leader for Productivity. Other titles she’s coauthored include Presentation Advantage and The 5 Choices.

    Suzette Blakemore is a businesswoman and author. She’s been working at FranklinCovey since 2012, where she’s currently a regional productivity practice leader.

    James Wood is a senior leadership consultant and coach. He’s been at FranklinCovey for eight years and has over 20 years of leadership experience.

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