In project logistics management, we have a tendency to focus on methods of which there are a few. The methods are the ‘what’ of project logistics management and are often at the heart of a successfully run project. But the methods can only take your project logistics so far.
Truly, it is the attitude, or the ‘how’, that divides great projects from the mediocre, and lets great project logistics managers rise above the rest. The good part is that there is an effective methodology to complement any approach.
The ‘how’ infuses every facet of a project from a logistics point. It is the way one communicates, the way you resolve challenges, the manner you lead. You may have a full tool kit of project logistics guides with orderly steps to go by, but if you can’t successfully solve a crisis with effectiveness, expertise, and skill, your tool kit isn’t going to be valuable very much. After many years of real-world knowledge, our team has learned that the ‘how’ is what produces customer satisfaction.
Here are five qualities you need to master the ‘how’ of project logistics management:
- A collaborative management approach. A collaborative management approach connects the project team and key stakeholders in problem solving and decision making. Words like “trust”, “buy-in”, “ownership”, are used a lot.
- Adaptability. An effective project logistics manager is one that can instantly evaluate a new situation and adjust to the present situation. When structure is needed, then add structure. If the project speed is fast, take up a more fluid approach. And so on.
- Resourcefulness. As a project logistics manager, you may not be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on any given element of a project. You almost certainly rely on others to bring essential knowledge and know-how to the table. A good project logistics manager is creative, resolute, and understands how to make use of SMEs and other resources effectively. They also know that the best solutions often arise from out-of-the-box thinking and the will to try and try again.
- Highly created communication skills. Communication is king for project logistics managers. To be successful, you have got to stand out in all facets of communication. For example, understanding when it is appropriate to take up the phone, send an email or ask for a face-to-face [online] discussion. Realizing how to engage with an executive or inspire a team member. Every team and every project is unique, so you must be able to adapt your style to their requirements.
- Flexibility. You have heard many times: the only constant is change. But how you manage change can make or break any experience, and any project from a logistics point of view. Flexibility generates inventive thinking, which no project could succeed without. When you stay open, people and their ideas feel welcome. But if you become too strict, the flow stops flowing. The whole project dynamic can trickle