The 7 Effective Skills of Project Leadership

18 January 2016 / By John Manning

KMI International’s Purpose is to Provide Expert Leadership in Project Management Services.

KMI International works diligently to assist clients in adding value to their capital investment. Our key tenet is, Providing Leadership, Delivering Success! We take our role in project leadership very seriously. We understand what it takes to be an effective leader; and on all our projects, we incorporate these 7 effective leadership skills:

1. INFLUENCE OTHERS BY LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Leading a Project requires one to clearly understand the project’s requirements. KMI leaders work to ensure all parties assigned to a project clearly understand the goals and requirements they are to achieve.  KMI leads by “walking the walk and talking the talk.” We work to meet a project’s goals and to ensure others are meeting theirs as well. No one likes to work on a project where one party does not meet their goals and requirements; yet expects all others to meet theirs.

2. GOOD DECISION MAKING SKILLS: All projects require the leader to make decisions. It is important to stay committed to the decisions made, while remaining flexible in the approach. KMI works to employ a systematic approach to decision making by incorporating these 6 steps in the process:

Step 1 – Who needs to be involved in the decision? Who should have input on the issue?

Step 2 – Set a time frame for when the decision should be made. What is the latest date/time the decision must be made so as to not impact the project? Is there an advantage in making a decision sooner or not making the decision until an event occurs, which may or will shed more light on the issue?

Step 3 – List all possible solutions and options. This is achieved by canvasing the team to get the most input.

Step 4 – Gather the most relevant information necessary to make the decision.

Step 5 – Weigh the pros, cons and risks involved in the decision, as well as the alternatives from information gathered. What is the seriousness of the consequences of making the wrong decision? What are the benefits of making the right decision? What are the cost, quality and schedule impacts of the potential alternatives?

Step 6 – Make the decision with input of those who should provide input into the process. Stay committed to this decision but monitor the decision; and again, remain flexible to adjust the decision for the good of the project.

3. VISION – WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT: The initial task KMI focuses on with clients is gathering a clear understanding of the project’s goals. From there, we develop a clear vision of what a successful project will look like. KMI leaders reinforce this vision throughout the life of the project, working to align the team towards a collective vision. With a collective team understanding of the project’s vision, the team can collectively foresee what is coming next in a project and can then navigate around obstacles before they become problematic.

4. IT TAKES A TEAM TO BUILD A PROJECT:  KMI realizes we are only as good as the team pulled together for the project. It is imperative that the Design Team, Contractors, and other Key Consultants, feel they are part of an inclusive team that collectively achieves the client’s goals. Alienating one another on issues typically results in a failed project. As the leader, KMI works to pull the team together from the beginning and continuously motivates the team to meet the project’s goals.

5. EFFECTIVE DELEGATION: It is critical on any project that those involved feel empowered to perform their duties to meet the project’s goals. KMI successfully accomplishes this by defining lines of authority and responsibility when writing RFPs, scopes, contracts, etc. This procedure helps ensure team members with the appropriate skills are brought onboard. Ongoing oversight is then required to keep those team members/firms working toward their delegated goals.

6. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: It has been said that nine-tenths of all problems on a project stem from poor communication. KMI takes both written and oral communication seriously. Accurate and thorough communication skills are critical when leading a project. KMI views our role as the project’s leader to be the key communicator among all parties, thereby reducing problems, which stem from poor communication.

7. CONTINUOUS LEARNING: Life is too short to succumb to mediocrity. KMI leaders focus on continually learning from their project experiences. Furthermore, they are trained in standards of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) to properly run projects from concept through to completion. CMAA standards bring together collective experiences of thousands of the industry’s best professionals and are continuously updated. Many of KMI’s leaders hold the distinguished Certified Construction Manager (CCM) certification, which is accredited by ANSI’s to meet the essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process in accordance with the ISO 17024 standard established by ANSI. The lessons learned from our own experiences, and those of others, help KMI leaders continue to grow.

About The Author

John Manning

John Manning is the Principal and CEO of KMI International with more than 30 years of global experience in project management of the design and construction processes on resort hotels, parking structures, infrastructure, area development and mixed use. He is a CCM (Certified Construction Manager), PE (Professional Engineer) and a LEED Accredited Professional while serving on the national board of CMAA. He has worked as a project manager for large Owners and Construction Management Firms on projects ranging up to $3 Billion. Mr. Manning also testifies as a forensic expert in state and federal courts.

Leave a Comment

*Please complete all fields correctly