The question about what makes a good project manager is one that has as many answers as there are people to answer it. The question is best answered by evaluating whether a project manager is able to balance the need for strategic vs tactical approaches and thinking with regards to their project(s). If you’re thinking “what’s the difference between strategy and tactics?”, I’ve listed the fundamentals here:
- Long term (Years)
- Broad Goals (A company’s large scale objectives. I.E; Improve ROI, Increase Shareholder value, Gain market share etc..)
- Setting global business or strategic goals such as your release criteria, workflow setup and lifecycle.?
- Selecting and assigning which resources are allocated to which projects (What team resources can I allocate? What can I afford to dedicate to this project?)
NOTE: Strategy is not the same as Best practice
- Short term (Months)
- Specific Objectives (Hitting Milestones and Release Dates)
- Micromanaging the day to day goals and activities, focusing on execution.
- People: Assigning individuals or teams with domain expertise to specific actions.
A project manager that over-values one of these two aspects at the expense of the other is likely not efficiently accomplishing either of them.
Each of these types of work has its own challenges. Strategy should take longer to plan and longer to execute but tactical work typically is reactionary and needs on the spot answers to the problems that may arise. Too much time spent on the tactical aspects of your project means that the execution of projects and their correlated performance might be on track, but without a strategic focus that is well established and carefully crafted, the big goals and purpose of the business plan can be lost or out of sync as the project cycle develops.
A combination of strategy and tactical should be applied. Think Strategically. Act Tactically.
For more information and examples of strategy and tactics feel free to check out the links at the end of this post that I found were quite helpful!
Let us know what you think of these two project management mindsets and how you try to balance them