The Yin and Yang of Project Management

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

Project management can sometimes seem to be a job of opposites – sometimes sitting in front of your screen preparing project plans, documentation and reports. But at other times you’re out and about sorting out problems that could impact the project’s success or diplomatically resolving personality clashes that could lead to a crisis. And whether you’re documenting aspects of the project or fire-fighting problems it never seems to be easy. But then you probably wouldn’t want to do the job if it was.

The Yin and Yang of Project ManagementPart of what makes project management interesting is the challenges it always seems to throw up. And part of what makes a successful project manager is being able to deal with the challenges whether they are related to the budget, scope, schedule, people or project documentation.

A project manager must be all things to all people. You can’t be successful as a project manager if you are only effective at the scheduling and budgeting and not good at dealing with people on a personal level or convincing others of the benefits of the project.

Yin and yang are opposite forces that are both interconnected and interdependent, and, therefore, complementary. Everything has both yin and yang aspects – light and dark, female and male – and one cannot exist without the other; but either aspect can be more or less prominent. In a project manager it is the balance of the yin and yang that determines how they handle aspects of a project such as change, risk and individual people on the project team.

So nurture both sides of your personality to obtain the perfect balance of yin and yang and develop your project management skills to a level that will ensure success.

  • Build collaborative teams
  • Develop a supportive working environment
  • Encourage professional growth
  • Deliver first-class products
  • Accept that mistakes can be made (and move on without blame)
  • Foster a can-do attitude
  • Communicate authoritatively and concisely

Read more about the attributes of male and female project managers in these articles:

Do Men make the best project managers?”

Do Women make the best project managers?”

And if you are still in doubt undertake some training on one of the very best project management courses in a recognised methodology such as PMP, PRINCE2 or APM PMQ.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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