9.9% of every dollar invested in a project is wasted due to project management inefficiency according to the Pulse of the Profession 2018 report by PMI. Though this number is down 27% since 2013, we still have a long way to go.

At Sitetracker, we spend all of our time enabling project managers and their organizations to successfully and efficiently deploy critical infrastructure. We do this by providing the leading software solution for critical infrastructure deployment, used by companies such as Verizon, Nokia, and Fortis. As we speak to and work with organizations who are getting it right and attaining operational excellence, we’ve had productive conversations about what successful project managers do to achieve their goals by completing projects on time and on budget.

We’ve gathered some key insights from top projects managers. Consider this a crash course from veteran project managers in learning what it really takes to succeed:

  1. Think about what could go wrong as much as what could go right.
    “As a project manager, you should spend as much time as you can thinking about what could go wrong as you do dreaming about what could go right.”  — Walter A. Nesbeth III, project management expert
  2. There is no substitute for trial and error.
    “A theory is great, trial and error are better. You can imagine every possibility, but there’s no substitute for experience.” — Walter A. Nesbeth III, project management expert
  3. “If you can’t communicate, you can’t lead.
    This should go without saying, but often gets overlooked. Communication is the key to successful leadership, especially when managing hundreds or thousands of highly complex critical infrastructure projects.
    Eugene Spiegle, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Undergraduate Program Director, Rutgers University
  4. A project is only as strong as its objective.
    “The foundation of a project is the accuracy of the defined objective. If you don’t have a good objective, you’ll never have a good project outcome.” — Eugene Spiegle, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Undergraduate Program Director, Rutgers University
  5. Maintain a positive relationship with everyone by establishing trust.
    “Throughout it all, my top priority is to maintain a positive relationship with everyone I work with through establishing and strengthening trust.” — Stacie Esposito, Senior Project Manager at Crown Castle
  6. Be flexible and adaptable.
    “Change is constant in the project management world, so being able to adapt and be flexible will help you grow as a project manager.”  — Stacie Esposito, Senior Project Manager at Crown Castle

Throughout our conversations with project management experts deploying telecom, utilities, and smart cities projects, the piece of advice that stands out is:

Project management is all about people.

You can understand all the concepts in PMBOK, but what makes a project manager great, not just good, is to communicate well, establish trust, and appreciate the people he/she works with.

Are you an expert project manager deploying critical infrastructure projects successfully? Contact us to be featured on our blog.