10 Remarkable Ways to Build an Amazing Project Culture

Some project managers just seem to find success easier than others. Maybe because they consistently do these ten things that others don’t.

Every project manager wants to be successful and help their teams achieve their project objectives. But so many individuals struggle to get there.

Hand writing I love my project with marker, business concept

Photo courtesy of DollarPhoto.com

In my journey, I have spent more than 15 years managing projects, programs, and portfolios in different industries and organizations. While each organization is unique, I have noticed similar attributes of project managers with team members who love their projects (and their project managers). Here are ten you may want to incorporate into your practice.

The Winning Ingredients of Winsome Project Managers

Project managers are often busy with the technical things of a project. However, don’t miss the critical soft skills required to effectively lead your teams. How can YOU create a successful, productive project environment?

  1. Lead with integrity. Leadership gurus Kouzes and Posner have identified integrity (or honesty) as a top attribute for leader-constituent relationships. They say, “It’s clear that if people anywhere are to willing follow someone – whether into battle or into the boardroom, the front office or the front lines – they first want to assume themselves that the person is worthy of their trust.”
  2. Respect and value your team members. Individuals come to work every day hoping someone with recognize their value. Demonstrate respect to your team in your manners, the words you speak, and your actions.
  3. Give team members work that complements their skill set. If you have the opportunity to help staff your project team, match the specific project tasks to individuals with the appropriate skill set. Team members are more highly motivated when given challenging tasks that match their skills.
  4. Lead with a great attitude. Chuck Swindoll said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
  5. Give team members what they need for success. Poor managers direct their team members to perform tasks but fail to give them the tools and resources to make it happen. During the planning process, ask your team members what they need to be successful.
  6. Plan WITH your project team. Want a project plan that will provide you and your team a track for success? Include your project team and key stakeholders in the planning process. Collaborate, communicate, and set the course together. Want a Project Plan Checklist? Click Here to Grab It Now!
  7. Celebrate project milestones. When team members hit milestones, take time to recognize their work and cheer them on. Take them out for lunch. Order pizza. Bake cookies. Do whatever makes sense, but don’t miss these opportunities to build community and infuse energy into your team!
  8. Develop your team members. Your team members want to know you care about their future. Help them mature and grow. Look for opportunities to delegate and develop team members. Support them well as they take on new responsibilities.
  9. Tell focused stories. In their book “Change the Culture, Change the Game,” Roger Connors and Tom Smith describe leaders who tell stories to reinforce the desired beliefs, actions, and results of their culture. Project managers can tell stories to help shape and maintain the culture of their projects.
  10. Thank your project team. Look for opportunities to recognize good work and thank them. When giving thanks, be specific. Give thanks close to the time of the desired actions. Need ideas? Check out 10 Simple Ways to Thank Your Team.