Project Management Success

Three Tips to Project Management Success

CTM Technology Group
4 min readJul 6, 2021


Whether or not a project is successful is dependent on so many factors. Here are a few simple tips for project managers to ensure your project succeeds.

Ask Questions

I was recently pulled in to oversee the resolution of a critical issue affecting over 1,000 servers. A few teams had been attempting to make progress, but they were struggling. After asking a few questions, I found that the technical teams had not come up with a standard process to resolve the issues on these servers, resulting in rework and delays. In a one-hour meeting, I documented the process by asking the technical leads questions and aligned the teams on the go-forward approach. This was such a simple action, but so commonly overlooked.

In many meetings, I find technical resources hesitant to ask questions that might make them look uneducated on a topic. As the project manager, if something does not seem clear or logical, it can be very helpful to the team if you ask the question. At a minimum, this ensures the entire team is on the same page. Never assume you are the only resource on the project that does not understand. Ask the technical team if they agree or disagree with an approach or need more information. If no one speaks up, address your questions directly to a lead individual for comment.

When working with your project team, yes or no questions are rarely sufficient. I do not know how many times I have been told yes, something is understood or no, there is not an issue, only to dig deeper and find the opposite to be true. Try not to ask yes or no questions to get a more accurate answer.

Many times, engineers only propose ideal solutions to resolve an issue. If the solution does not fit the timeline, budget, or other criteria for your project, dig in and ask for alternative solutions. Ask why this is the only solution? What can be done within the guidelines of the project? Avoid going to executive leadership without exploring all these options. Often there are other acceptable solutions, and at a minimum, executive leadership will have a full understanding of all the options before any decision. Be prepared to recommend, present, and discuss the best option. While executive leadership will have the final say, they will desire input from individuals close to the project.

Lead Your Team

Take ownership of mistakes and give the team credit for success. Most projects will encounter some sort of mistake or failure. The goal is to keep these minor and prevent repeating the error. Many times, this will be because of a technical glitch or some unpredicted technical failure. This can also result from a condensed timeline or overconfidence in a process. Regardless of who might have been responsible, the project manager should take ownership of the issue and drive it to a successful resolution. Blaming the team does not make the project manager look better. It is your job to lead the team and prevent mistakes.

On the flip side, when the team is successful, ensure leadership knows how the team contributed to the success. Flaunt the success of the individuals on the team. Call out individuals that especially made a difference. When you work with them on your next project or iteration, they will be much more willing to put in the extra effort for someone who recognizes their value.

Lead by example, do not ask your team to do something you are not willing to do. Meet the deadlines for your actions. If there is a critical deadline coming up, it is not the time to leave the office early, even if you do not play a critical role. If your team needs to work late or stay up all night to resolve an issue, be willing to assist and check-in through the late hours to see how you can help.

Help your team make decisions and commitments to drive the project forward. One of the responsibilities of project managers is to make decisions and help your team make decisions. Issues raised or uncovered during meetings should always have an action plan. Critical ones should be prioritized and addressed immediately. Ensure ownership and a resolution timeline before the end of any meeting. If no one volunteers, elect an individual or take it on yourself.

No one likes to make commitments to deliverables when there are some unknowns, however, to keep projects on track, educated guesses must be made and targets must be set. When a technical resource commits to a timeframe longer than a few days, check-in routinely based on the criticality to make sure they are on track or to see if they have run into any blockers that you can assist with. When a technical resource is unwilling to commit to a timeframe, suggest a brief period for an investigation to come back with a commitment. No one expects every commitment to be met on time when there are unknowns, however, to keep projects on track, realistic goals must be set and tracked.


Regularly communicate project objectives and the progress achieved with your team. This means more than we completed 10 user stories in a Sprint. What did we build? What does this mean for the customer? Ensure the team understands the goals of the iteration and the project. They cannot effectively do their jobs without this clarity.

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CTM Technology Group

CTM Technology Group is an IT consulting company that specializes in cloud & data center migration, transformation, & consolidation services.