I recently had the pleasure of presenting a Masterclass for Entrepreneurial Project Management which proved to be an insightful and enlightening session for a group of like-minded entrepreneurs from the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN).
This masterclass delved into essential project management tools and techniques that hold the potential to significantly impact everyday business operations. Emphasising the principles of the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Professional qualification, commonly known as PMP©, the gold standard in PMP, this masterclass provided attendees with a high-level overview of industry best practices.
Unravelling Project Management Techniques: The masterclass commenced with a comprehensive examination of tools and techniques used to identify and analyse stakeholders, while also assessing their influence and power within a project or business. Attendees were guided on how to leverage this information to craft a communication plan that engages key stakeholders throughout the project's lifecycle. Acknowledging the universality of these principles, the insights shared hold relevance not only for managing projects but also across a diverse client base or sales cycle where stakeholders constantly evolve. A Holistic Understanding of Project Methodologies: In pursuit of a more profound understanding of project management methodologies, the masterclass explored various approaches, including waterfall, iterative, and agile. While these methodologies may be familiar to many entrepreneurs, a more nuanced comprehension of their concepts caught the attention of the entrepreneurs. At a high level, there has been a fundamental shift in project management that involves embracing change, engaging stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle, and eliciting feedback at critical stage gates. The approach ensures active stakeholder involvement and significantly enhances the likelihood of project success. "...There has been a fundamental shift in project management that involves embracing change, engaging stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle, and eliciting feedback at critical stage gates." Adapting Communication Styles for Effective Leadership:
Recognising the pivotal role of effective communication in project management, the masterclass delved into the importance of not only understanding one's own communication style but also discerning and adapting to the styles of others. I presented an example by demonstrating how different personality types prefer distinct communication mediums. An example I like to give is that an extroverted personality is more likely to prefer a spontaneous phone or video call to discuss a work matter, followed up with an email confirming the outcome of the call and next steps etc. Whereas an introverted person would rather have all the facts in black and white first, before any direct interaction. This simple adjustment will foster an environment of ease and productivity, promoting seamless collaboration among team members. Embracing Risk and Opportunity: Entrepreneurs, as natural risk-takers, confront numerous challenges in launching and growing their ventures. The masterclass underscored the significance of risk identification and classification, enabling entrepreneurs to distinguish between Known-Unknowns and Unknown-Unknowns. This knowledge is essential for identifying potential risks as opportunities and honing the ability to recognise them effectively.
"The masterclass underscored the significance of risk identification and classification, enabling entrepreneurs to distinguish between Known-Unknowns and Unknown-Unknowns. "
Building High-Performing Teams:
Human resources are the bedrock of any project or business endeavour. The masterclass highlighted the importance of acquiring and nurturing a high-performing team using a servant-leadership approach. Dispersing the conventional managerial role of merely directing and managing, this approach champions collaboration and empowers team members to thrive, thus optimizing overall project performance.
Building on this subject, I am a guest speaker at the respected PMI Portugal Annual Conference in October this year. My presentation will explore the "Art and Science of Project Resourcing."
Impactful Feedback and Insights:
The feedback received from the entrepreneurial participants was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting how the masterclass enhanced their understanding of project management structures, agile methodologies, and the crucial aspect of securing early stakeholder buy-in.
Attendees departed with a deeper understanding of essential tools, methodologies, and communication strategies that will undoubtedly propel their entrepreneurial ventures to new heights.
I hope that I made a significant contribution to our entrepreneurs in the field of project management, and I hope to hear about some of the tools and techniques becoming a staple go-to for the future.
Rachael Milne is a qualified PMP and Scrum Master trainer based in Lisbon, Portugal. She is available for freelance training online or in person. Please do not hesitate to contact her for more information.
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