Three Pillars of PM

There are three main pillars of project management that represent things you need to do on a regular, daily basis in order to manage the project properly and reach a successful conclusion:  Communicating, Planning, and Coordinating.  You can take all of the activities in an IT Project Management training course or guide and fit them into these three pillars.  There is so much that needs to be done on a daily basis in an IT Project Management role that it is easy to forget a daily task that is not urgent but critical, and that could come back to haunt you at some time down the road.  Therefore it may help some IT Project Managers to think about these three pillars on a daily basis and ask themselves about what tasks need to be in each.

Communicating involves keeping a two-way link with stakeholders, vendors and team members.  It means daily asking who are your critical support people, or who needs to be informed, or who needs to be your number one fan and ask yourself if they know everything that is going on?  Do they need to know more?  If they were stopped today in a hallway and queried about the status of the project, would they give the correct answer?

Planning involves the solitary work of sifting through all of the tasks and deliverables and asking if all dependencies have been understood; if the work structure is accurate; if all of the activities have been planned correctly and is everything understood well enough?

Coordinating means ensuring people are getting their work done, or getting the help they need; or ensuring no one is floundering, or tasks that have to be done today are in fact being done.  It also means facilitating difficult, political situations, and being firm and visionary about where things need to go and what can be said.

These three pillars will each be covered in detail in other blogs and documents, but it is important to remember that successful IT Project Management is about doing a lot of little things continually on a daily basis.  The collection of all activities can be divided into three pillars:  Communicating, Planning and Coordinating.