Project Management

Practice doesn’t always make perfect

They say you learn from your mistakes. If that is the case, when it comes to managing projects I should be a university professor by now! It certainly took me a number of attempts to fully understand what project management was actually all about.


I followed the training

It would have undoubtedly helped in my early years if training and mentoring on projects had been better. Don’t get me wrong, I worked in the same divisions as some exceptional project managers, but never with them. One of them was nicknamed ‘Spooky’.


Spooky got his name from all of his projects going spookily well. If Spooky reads this article then I hope he will recognise that his work was an inspiration – I doff my cap.

But I could rarely replicate. I was never entirely sure why. I’d been on the project management course, which taught me all about Gantt charts, critical paths and action lists.


Successful projects are about so much more than the Gantt

My main enlightenment breakthrough was when working on a large change project with a leading pharmaceutical company. That was when I realised the power of stakeholder management, engagement of teams, personal accountability for each task owner, a ruthless central command office, and unwavering support to overcome issues and make decisions.

For those of you that watch The Apprentice, you’ll be able to list all too well many of the mistakes that project managers make. All of them stem from not setting up properly, and not recognising and effectively managing the people and the issues.



How to be successful like Spooky At Slater Austin, we don’t start our customers’ supply chain projects by filling in a Gantt chart. You can find out what we do in three ways.

Firstly, join our upcoming webinar entitled the 5 repeated mistakes of project managers. Secondly, join one of our project management training courses (in which you will also receive our ready-to-use project management toolkit). Thirdly, contact us today about how we can manage or mentor your next supply chain project.