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Colin D. Ellis, author, The Project Rots from The Head, talks to me about the changing face in project management leadership.
The video is approximately 4 minutes long. It is safe for work. However, the transcript is available below.
Elizabeth: Hello everyone, it’s Elizabeth here. Today I’m in London with Colin Ellis (a project manager extraordinaire from Australia who is not Australian).
Colin: No, not Australian.
Elizabeth: But you’ve come here, –
Colin: I don’t think that’s a problem, but I want to make it clear to all Australians who are reading this. It’s amazing to live in Australia.
Elizabeth: You are a trainer and consultant, and you are in the UK…
Colin: To speak.
Elizabeth: Well, okay.
Colin: Yes, to speak, train, and do a lot of things and spread project management messages.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Elizabeth: Yes.
Colin: Yep. Yes, definitely. It’s been evident over the past six, nine months, and we’re seeing it more in reports and surveys that are being released. There’s a greater emphasis on people now, which should have been the focus. It was a bit difficult to not be prescriptive about a method. However, it is important to have a great leader to manage a team.
Colin: I think there is a lot more emphasis on “How can I be the best version I can in this environment?” than in my speeches and trainings. This is something that a method does not give you.
Elizabeth: You learn lessons at the end.
Colin: Yeah. That’s right. Great project managers would agree that it’s not about me. It’s all about the team.
Elizabeth: It’s the group.
Colin: You can get that one free of charge. It’s true. I was talking to someone about lessons learned about three or four month ago. He asked me, “What does a good lesson learned report look like?” I replied, “It’s really not about that, it is about what are the things you captured throughout the project that you could transfer onto somebody else.” Maybe you’d even write some of those things down. “It’s too late if you wait until the end of the project, to be honest,” I replied.
Elizabeth: It is.
Elizabeth: It’s impossible to do anything about it so it must be about moving on.
Colin: Yeah. This is called passing things on and receiving constant feedback. I wrote a blog about the need for continuous feedback. If you don’t get it, ask for it. If you want to improve your project management skills, you need to ask yourself these questions: “What’s the one thing I could change today? What’s the one thing I’m not doing? What’s the one thing I’m doing well?”
Elizabeth: Then do it.
Colin: Then, change something.
Elizabeth: It’s okay to have all the feedback, the lessons, but if they are just put in a drawer, all that they do is become lessons learned or useful information someone told me one day.
Elizabeth: It’s not something you have to do, it’s about changing your behavior.
Colin: It is.