Project Management Navigation Expert, Kelly Schactler discusses key components to successful project management

To combat this idea that “We don’t have time for it.”, I like to sit down with my clients and work with them to assess where their pain points are in their project delivery, then identify a few opportunities where they can score some quick wins using project management. This generally works to show them why they can’t afford NOT to use project management tools. 

The key to overcoming all of the myths and misconceptions is to deeply listen to what they think they need and then partner with them to help them identify what they truly need, backed up with examples and stories of what has worked for others. Most organizations experience similar pain points, sometimes with different nuances. At the end of the day, the action steps gravitate toward creating customized training in a simple way with the right tools that are relevant to their needs. The relevancy piece is very important; the training needs to make sense for them in terms of how their organization and their people roll in their culture. 

In my workshops, we use actual projects the organization and staff are working on, or want to initiate, in tandem with teaching core project management tools, processes, and best practices. This is instrumental in setting them up for success and equipping them ahead of their projects. They’re armed with meaningful tools that are going to be a difference-maker in their project outcomes. They get real-life, authentic, useful practices, not the project management gobbledygook that intimidates and turns people off. 


What are the common mistakes made when implementing a new Project Management Protocol?

Many times, organizations think they need an expensive project management software app or collaboration tool to help get the work done. While it is helpful to have digital tools in place to enhance the project management process, you don’t have to have an expensive collaboration tool or app to do project management properly. It’s about finding the right combination of tools based on what works for each unique business. There are many creative ways to manage and track projects inexpensively to meet organizational needs, often using existing resources.  

One of the mistakes I see individuals with minimal project management experience make is wanting to take on bigger projects than they’re capable of handling. This rarely turns out well. They get starstruck by the enormity of doing something new and exciting and how that can impact their career, but the organization doesn’t equip them with the resources they need, specifically a mentor. They’re on their own. They get thrown in the deep end without a flotation device. When I work with a client in that situation, we address their mindset first and then work on the project management coaching and tools they need to keep their head above the water to deliver to the best of their ability.


What are the most important factors to consider before working with a Project Management Educator?

The marketplace is crowded with a variety of project management webinars, workshops, certifications, and courses when it comes to project management learning and education. Before diving into any research on education providers and training, the questions I’d be asking as a leader in my organization, contemplating bringing project management tools and processes into my operations would be:

  1.   Is the organization’s leadership in agreement about the potential benefits of using the right project management tools and best practices and their potential impact on the organization’s mission and goals?
  2.   What are the business acumen and learning curve maturity levels of the staff overall? Are the teams/staff aware of and receptive to the project management value proposition?
  3.   Can the project delivery pain points be solved by project management tools and processes, or are the pain points a result of organization culture, mindset and/or ineffective management and leadership?


 Interested in working with Kelly? You can find more at her website:

Jeremy Baker

Jeremy Baker has a passion for helping his clients get recognition as the expert in their field. His approach to interviewing helps his clients tell their stories and talk about their unique set of experiences and background.