The RFP Success™ Company


Subscribe to the rfp success show:

EP008: Project Managing Like a Pro – with Cerila Gaillard of Orchestrating Your Success


The difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one lies in project management, yet small businesses often assign the role to an employee juggling other responsibilities—or worse, they skip that step altogether. How can we leverage project management processes to make the best use of available resources? And what qualities should we look for in an effective project manager?

Cerila Gaillard is the founder of Orchestrating Your Success, a project management consultancy based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has served as a Project Management Professional (PMP) for several Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Xerox and United Technologies. A certified PMP and ScrumMaster, Cerila is a Member Ambassador for the Phoenix Chapter of the Project Management Institute and a Venture Mentor for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at Arizona State University.

Today, Cerila offers her definition of project management as a repeatable process that ensures maximum productivity. She covers the leadership skills necessary to take on the role of project manager, explaining the significance of soft skills like communication in a project’s success. I ask Cerila about her keep-it-simple approach to project management, and she describes the flexibility involved in picking and choosing the appropriate techniques. Listen in for insight around detailed planning, defining clear goals, and setting realistic deadlines—and learn how to utilize the data provided by project management software!


Key Takeaways

  • The definition of project management as a repeatable process

  • How project management uses tools to maximize productivity

  • The leadership skills necessary to take on the role of PJM

  • How to communicate with decision-makers vs. the project team

  • Why a PJM’s soft skills are as important as their technical skills

  • Why a PJM should not be ‘in the weeds’ of a project

  • The flexibility of a project manager to pick and choose techniques

  • Cerila’s keep-it-simple approach to project management

  • The danger around not taking the time to plan

  • How clearly defined goals lead to the success of a project

  • The project management pitfall of setting unrealistic expectations

  • The benefits of project management software like Smartsheet