A lot of theory, collected wisdom from other disciplines and evolved practices for managing software project tells many skills and kind of knowledge, and its depth that a successful project manager should have and use them in order to achieve those objectives of the project.
But what should be the objectives of a successful software project manager other than the SOP based Project Management objectives?
A generally accepted definition of a successful project manager is the one who delivers the project on time within the budget and meeting the project objectives and taking decisions considering the other project constraints.
Well, that’s right from a typical project manager’s point of view. In my opinion a project manager not only needs to understand what the project objectives as per standard project management SOPs, but also needs to understand who the stakeholders are and why this project is there? Yes, the answer to this question may not be easily earned so is the success for the project.
What I have experienced on various occupations is that the PM needs to primary understand the scope of the project and then find out the real owner of the project. The PM should try to find out the actual need, they why?, of the project from their project owner/sponsor and should try to achieve that goal of the project along with the explicit objectives of the project.
The project manager should try to make the stakeholders happy rather than trying to make them happy. The project manager should focus on the need of the project and while taking decisions for the project s/he should also consider the need/the rationale of the project, the very basic reason for the being of the project, while focusing on the objectives of the project.
This can earn the project manager a strong support from the stakeholder(s) which is an essential ingredient of the success of the project and on personal ground for the project manager as well. This special consideration for the need of the project help project manager build a strong relationship with the stakeholder and to earn their confidence, which fuels project for success and provides the resilience for any unforeseen or foreseen obstacles because than it becomes a common enemy (the resilience/obstacle) as the quote goes “Enemy of Your enemy is Your Friend !”
Have a good day !