I believe the word ‘Proactive’ in the title of this post is redundant. If a project manager is not proactive he should choose another job. Strong words but true.
Disctionary.com defines proactive as “serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, esp. a negative or difficult one”
A project is full of surprises – both positive and negative. The project manager can reduce the impact of negative surprises if she or he recognizes the them early. She or he can also exploit positive surprises to improve the chances of success.
A good project manager would correctly interpret environmental signals and recognize that a negative surprise is likely to happen. She or he would appropriate timely action to overcome the situation and keep the project within budget.
The project manager has to be extra proactive and careful while managing fixed price projects. There could be many reasons for cost increase including scope creep, expenditure on unbudgeted items and unscheduled delays. As a project manager, one has to be recognize the signals and influence the factors causing negative surprises early enough. The project manager should be proactive enough to reduce the chances of negative surprises and increase the probability of project success.