Project Manager or Policeman?

I’ve often worked on projects and felt like I’m the Police Officer of the team – Why would this be? Probably because I’m often in situations whereby I need to communicate with the project teams regularly to make sure the tasks that need to get done are done by the required date. I need to communicate clearly and concisely ensuring the teams understand the requirements and complete the tasks in the time frame given.

In order to draw some credible similarities between the two roles I thought I would have a look at the skills required to be a Police Officer:-

At the top of the list is:-

  • Effective communication skills, including tact and diplomacy. This is an essential skill for a project manager on any project, however large or small. Communicating with team members often from different backgrounds or even cultures can be tricky and needs managing. More importantly, each team member needs to know and understand what they need to do and when by. Often a lot easier said than done!!
  • A sense of personal responsibility, integrity and resilience. If the project team don’t believe in the project manager, the project is doomed before it’s even started. Part of being a successful project manager is dealing with the ’non-believers’, be it stakeholders or project team members who simply don’t buy into the project and would rather be doing something else!
  • Professionalism, honesty and trustworthiness. The project manager needs to be able to effectively communicate to all stakeholders in the project, however far up or down the hierarchy they may be. Key stakeholders are trusting the project manager to deliver, they will want to know those milestones are being hit – on time and on budget!
  • Confident and calm manner. When a project is getting towards the go-live date and stress levels are rising, this skill is essential! One of my favourite quotes on a challenging project ‘another bomb in Beirut wont make any difference – it’ll just move the rubble around!’ Despite the bombs, the project still went live, on time and on budget!
  • Good literacy skills in order to accurately record details. Each project is different one client might want their project plan managed through an Excel spreadsheet, another via a Project Management tool like Clarity or in Microsoft Project. The project manager needs to keep up to date with these tools, and ensure they can use whichever software the client requires.

This list isn’t exhaustive! What needs to be identified is that each project may be different and each client individual, however the skills to be a successful PM (or Police Officer it seems) are the same. Whether you are a kitchen company with too many installations on your hands or a publican looking to expand into new premises – With our first class communication and organisation skills at Falcon Virtual Assistance, we can help you get your project over the finish line on budget and schedule!

Often, small to medium companies put off hiring a project manager due to fear of cost. This is often a false economy, as the business owner finds themselves without the time to dedicate to the project and the schedule over-runs. The cost of a delay in the project will often be more than the cost of the Project Manager.

Call us today for a no-obligation chat – 07966177480!!!

Petersfield, Hampshire


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