Tuesday, June 25, 2013

PW&WCBA Speaker Spotlight: Robert Woods, Aarons, Inc.

In our new Project World and World Congress for Business Analysts 2013 Speaker Spotlight series, Robert Woods, IT Project Manager & Agile Coach/Trainer at Aarons, Inc. recently sat down with us to discuss the ins and outs of being a successful project manager and business analyst in the increasingly competitive business landscape.

Woods has a long history of leading and coaching collaborative project teams consisting of culturally and geographically diverse backgrounds. Today, he focuses on helping teams drive business needs while collaborating on the right technical solutions to meet those needs. 

IIR: How do you, as a project manager of business analyst, stand out in a crowd in this competitive business world?

Woods: You have to be a servant leader, facilitator and influencer of people. In a world of ever-increasing technology designed for NOT having to actually talk to someone, you need to stand out as that person who isn’t afraid to communicate, take risks, put the team first and be exceptional at it.

IIR: What are characteristics of a GREAT project manager?

Woods: Start by being a good listener. Some of the best Project Managers wield the most positive influence by not saying anything at all. Be known as the PM everyone wants by helping your teams be great. Know your team members and the people who influence their success and be the person that ties it all together. And finally, seek to NOT receive the credit by putting the team on the pedestal.

IIR: What are some tips you would suggest to someone who is just learning Agile?

Woods: Be patient, listen and learn. Don’t be afraid to think outside the cube, innovate and create a culture of dedication to collaboration. It’s OK to fail if we learn from it and become better. Then we will be successful.

IIR: How do you as a project manager or business analyst build leadership skills?

Woods: Again, by listening to the people around you. Learn before attempting to influence. Strive to set the example on culture, servant leadership and collaboration and by doing so you won’t need the leadership title; the perception by your colleagues will become obvious.

IIR: How does a successful project manager communicate?

Woods: By first learning who they are communicating with, how they prefer to communicate and what their needs are. Seek first to understand before being understood. By doing so you will cater your communication to the individual; getting the best possible reaction and setting yourself up for successful future collaboration.

Stay tuned for upcoming expert interviews right here on the PW&WCBA Blog.  

Woods is a returning speaker at the annual PW&WCBA 2013 in Orlando, FL in September.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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1 comment:

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