Did you know, India is the fastest growing start-up ecosystem? From 3100 start-ups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020 – humongous numbers that. One can only imagine the massive funding and technology innovations that this trend is going to bring forth within India. This is not only going to change the way markets work but also evolve the way technology firms change to cater to this trend of start-ups.
Well trenched roles and responsibilities will evolve. As technical organizations become more agile, there is bound to be a democratization of decision making and therefore the empowered project manager’s role will emulate that of an entrepreneur.
Here’s a list of what successful entrepreneurs do and how the Project Manager’s role will be no different.
- Learning: If you start an organization, the learning curve is rapid and intense. You can’t be content just working on your area of expertise and relying on previously learned skills to take you ahead. Stretching limits, experimentation and learning is S.O.P. Learning is a continuous process for all. And this is how Project Managers need to operate. Learning can’t be a mandate-a checkbox to be completed before appraisals. Today’s manager’s need to make learning as intrinsic and personal to the project as much as possible. Learning has to be a culture that managers have to imbibe into their teams.
- Disruptive Innovation: A term that describes innovations which improves a product or service drastically – e.g. LinkedIn forever has changed the way business networking and recruitment will be conducted. Today businesses want to be known as disruptive organizations since it establishes them as leaders of a segment. For teams to remain competitive and fast-paced with high customer responsiveness, teams have to constantly innovative. Thinking out of the box and finding creative solutions is critical feature for any team or organization. And this is a next logical step when a learning culture thrives. As a project team, is it enough for the team to follow the same methodology that has been established or is it important to question the practice and innovate and find a better means of responding to customer demands? The project manager with many years of experience and expertise is able to foresee what areas of innovation are possible. And then invests within the team or as a part of the organization strategy to push for those innovations.
- Ambition: An entrepreneur is very ambitious and passionately believes in making ‘THE’ idea a success. This obsession to never give-up and push their teams to believe & work towards that goal, is a quality that differentiates successful people from the rest. How different is this from the Project Manager’s role? Not too different, right? Manager’s need to set aspirations and goals not just for herself but the team too. Performing teams receive accolades and rewards more than individual star performers. Project Managers hold great influence on their team and unless they are able to grow and inspire, the team will stagnate. Within project teams, the manager needs to ensure an atmosphere of feedback and open communication to engage and build passion.
- Brand: A brand recall is established on reputation i.e. of having delivered the same experience/service/product over and over again. This is plausible with good project management i.e. on time, high quality and detailed planning of work and resource so as to allocate the right person to the right job. But what it requires most is, that risks be mitigated irrespective of whether it was planned or not. The project manager as a decision maker should be able to plan and take decisions that ensure the smooth functioning of a project. Finding solutions or alternatives rather being grounded with a problem scenario is the hallmark of a good decision maker. A good brand recall for a project team is when they convert the client to a repeat customer.
One has to agree with Mike Lazaridis (the founder of blackberry) any tech company must have visionary leadership that can attract and inspire dedicated employees and want to play a role in its success.