We’re always eager to talk to powerful female project managers, and this week were able to speak to one based in LA.
Tell us about your career as a project manager and consultant
“I’ve led and participated with countless projects both in organisation life and as a consultant, ranging from ERP implementations, Sarbanes Oxley rollouts, to new product development launches to customer collaboration programs.
“After I completed my VP of Operations role at PaperPak, I thought about what I wanted to do next and it seemed like consulting would be a good way to utilise the diverse skills I gained during my career.
“It would also be a new challenge for me with greater variety and flexibility.”
What top skills must a leader possess?
“The most important skill for a leader is to retain, develop and hire talent.
“Although they should have a working knowledge in whatever technical skill is needed, the skill which will make or break success is their ability to interact with people.”
What advice would you offer someone approaching a project team for the first time?
“Make sure the team is on board and understands the value of the project.
“Also, focus in on the critical path.”
How do you feel opportunities are changing for younger workers in project management?
“There is a skills gap in today’s workplace; there’s not enough talent to fill the ever increasing need for high skilled positions.
“Because of this, I think it is a great time for young workers to pursue careers in project management.
“Those who shine will have the opportunities.”
What is the importance of establishing goals within a team?
“It is critical - goals provide clarity.
“I find that goals also provide information about what the team shouldn’t focus efforts on, which is sometimes more important than where they should focus.
“If this doesn’t happen the team could get into turf battles and/or disagreements about the end results and results were negatively impacted.”
Why do most projects fail?
“Lack of leadership.
“Lack of vision and goals.
“Lack of focus on the critical path and being willing to address roadblocks along the way.”
What social media platforms would you recommend project managers use to leverage success and communicate with their teams?
“It depends on what they are trying to achieve but LinkedIn is great for uncovering best practices, congratulating folks on success and researching ideas.”
What has been the most effective lesson you’ve learnt throughout your career?
“As a leader everyone watches what you do, not what you say.
“Successful leaders make sure they live up to their promises and do what they say.”