Key Factors in Project Management, by Alejandro Barrera

Escrito por: Alejandro Barrera, Scrum Master en Moveapps.

A few years ago, during a gathering with friends, while we were having some beers and explaining what each of us did, as I was presenting what I truly did and the role I played as an Agile Manager, one of them stared at me and said, “It’s interesting, but what does a Project Manager do? What are the key factors in project management? Because I only see my Project Manager in the meetings we have every day, where he provides us with guidelines on what we need to do, how we’re progressing, any delays, commits us to deadlines, and then we don’t see him until the next day.”

That question kept circling in my mind. What do Project Managers do? How do they work with their teams? What is their real role within a team of people involved in a project?

Key Factors in Project Management

It was at that point that I began to think about how I personally viewed my role as a Manager within a team, what the true role of a Project Manager is. Agility, transparency, common objective, leadership, people, planning, communication, strategy, energy. Many concepts came to mind in the blink of an eye, which are essential to consider and convey to others.

Factors in Project ManagementIn my 8 years of experience in management, the journey has had various flavors, depending on the projects I have led, where the concept of Agility has gained strength in recent times.

Starting as a manager of traditional (Waterfall) projects and evolving into an Agile Manager for every challenge that arises.

The process was not easy, as making a paradigm shift, first within oneself, and then conveying it to the team and the client accustomed to more traditional project management.

All of the above was a mutual learning experience, where growth in knowledge, experience, and skills began to shape a unique expression and distinctive approach to management.

Agility is here to stay, transforming paradigms and processes within planning, delivering value continuously in a project, showing progress to the client to receive their feedback in each iteration, ultimately delivering a high-quality product to the client.

To achieve this, it is necessary to carefully analyze the opportunity that presents itself to start a project, its complexity, the time needed for its transformation, uncertainty, and the methodologies that will be used.

Scrum or Kanban? What’s the difference?

Scrum? Kanban? These frameworks, closely related to agility, provide us with different ways to manage a project or service and equip us with tools to deliver value to our clients.

Project Management

If you need a structured framework with a set of values, principles, and practices to approach a project, I recommend using Scrum.

But if you need a continuous flow in cadences, where continuous delivery focuses on tasks to be developed, and where change is constant at every moment, Kanban is the choice.

The experience with each of these frameworks has been enriching and has contributed to the constant pursuit of improvement and learning new concepts and trends. This has helped to increase knowledge and experiences for every new situation that arises.


But are these Agile concepts the only ones that a Project Manager should have?

From my perspective, I believe not. There is another crucial aspect that must always be considered. Many call it soft skills. Empathy, respect, transparency, honesty, teamwork, helpfulness, leadership; these are concepts that define a Project Manager, and it’s also necessary to practice them daily to pursue the well-being of a motivated team that seeks continuous improvement at all times.

“This is our ship: we either all reach the port to finish our journey, or we all sink. Because we are all a team that is moving this ship, so let’s work together to keep it afloat so that when we reach the port, we can enjoy some good beers.”

Many have heard this phrase at the beginning of a project, as it’s the first thing I convey to make people feel comfortable and supported by the Manager. They need to understand that this person will always be the first to step up to protect the well-being of the team.

Management is a universal concept that combines knowledge, experience, soft skills, and leadership We strive to learn each of these concepts to deliver more value to each challenge we want to tackle.


Publicado originalmente el 2 de November de 2023, modificado 13 de December de 2023