There is a trend in the IT industry that I find disturbing: more often than not companies are recruiting for project managers only those that are PMP certified, while ignoring the actual traits and experiences that demonstrate successful project management skills and abilities. I find that PMP certification can be a contra-indicator of the actual skill of the project manager because their focus might not be on managing the project, but rather on managing the process of the project. In my career I have been the leader showing up to save a failing project to find amazing project documentation, project plans, and paperwork \u2013 yet the leaders of the project cannot answer with confidence even the most basic questions like \u201cAre you going to go-live on schedule?"\nEven worse, I hear statements like \u201call managers are project managers\u201d combined with obvious lack of appreciation on the difference between a project coordinator role and that of a project manager. For clarity, almost all managers are TASK managers, but they are rarely project managers, nor do they possess project management skills. Project coordinators are administrators, not managers.\nProject management is not just project administration\nMy view is that project managers come in two basic flavors. First is the bookkeeper. These are the PMs that document and report infinite detail on progress and project results (most often of failure) in project plans, status reports and other documentation. The second flavor, the warriors, are rare \u2013 at most 10% of the project managers I run into are warriors. These are the people who can actually cause a desired result to happen. They make the news rather than simply document and report the news. They are leaders first and are relentless in their pursuit of project milestones and completion. They are unafraid to speak up, stand up, and confront when needed; indeed, they are willing to surface issues quickly and get issues the attention they deserve rather than letting them silently kill the project. \u00a0They accept responsibility, demand accountability, and won\u2019t take no for an answer. They work tirelessly to go over, under, and around obstacles, and create teams of people with that mindset. They focus on the goal, not the process.\nGene Kranz, the American aerospace engineer and retired NASA flight director made popular from the movie Apollo 13, famously said, \u201cFailure is not an option.\u201d This quote illuminates the mindset of the warrior PM \u2013 we will find an answer, and we will get this done. The bookkeeper PM would carefully document the risks, issues and roadblocks, and prepare slides explaining why the dates or project was going to be impacted. If Kranz has been a bookkeeper PM, the Apollo 13 astronauts would have died in space which is why you want warrior project managers on your team. The bigger the project, the more critical this is \u2013 but you have to be able to recognize, hire, and harness the right kind of warrior PMs, and then provide them with the project coordinator resources to make sure the necessary minimum amount of documentation and procedure is followed.\nProject management is an art form with a high-level leadership component required. The paperwork and process should be just enough to enable the project team to function in a coordinated manner, and to enable communication within and outside of the project team. Anything beyond that is wasted effort and is often counterproductive. In a previous life, I worked for an organization that demanded a two-year roadmap for every IT function yet had a proven track record of never delivering anything on time, on budget, EVER; everyone up and down the chain had come to accept that nothing would be delivered according to the roadmap. In a time of high levels of business change, I politely declined to do a such a roadmap, and instead committed to a rolling six-month plan, with a commitment that our team would ALWAYS deliver on the six-month commitments. What an amazing difference in perception and team morale to actually deliver on what was committed, and then to repeat that over and over. In that organization, what had been valued was the thick set of plans and documentation, rather than actual result. Bookkeepers not warriors ruled the roost.\u00a0Don\u2019t let that happen to your organization!\nRecruit, build and celebrate warriors. Break a little glass. Failure should not be an expectation, nor should it be readily accepted. Plan to win!\nMy 10 rules of Project Management\n\nFailure is not an option (or if you are going to fail, failing fast is much better than failing slow \u2013 so get showstoppers out in the open and under discussion fast).\nYour project team will kill themselves to accomplish (and exceed) the goal \u2013 if they are clear on what the goal actually is, AND they believe that YOU believe they can do it.\nManagement is over-rated, and leadership is under-rated \u2013 focus on Leadership! Develop and invest in relationships at all levels and in all functions impacted by the project.\nFocus on the END goal \u2013 not the process (You need just enough process and no more).\nFigure out your critical resources and protect them from outside demands (See The Phoenix Project).\nProject Documentation should serve the project and is not the deliverable (it will never be looked at again).\nLots of people have opinions and advice on what should be done\u2026only a few can cause that to happen (warriors).\nAccountability is everything.\nNEVER plan projects using duration \u2013 effort is what matters (90% of IT projects are planned using duration).\nCommunicate, communicate, communicate. Team, project, company.