No matter how faithfully you try to follow your chosen project methodology (Scrum, Extreme Programming, Waterfall, CMMI, etc.) ultimately the strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures you experience are determined by the habits, attitude, and style of the project manager and team members on the project.
How is communication conducted? Meetings, hallway, bullpen, email, IM?
How do you react to change? How well do you manage scope?
How much trust/distrust is there amongst team members?
How rigorously or adaptively do you apply your process to each project?
Do you micromanage or do you empower?
This is the crux of why so many people disagree with most definitions of exactly what Agile is. This is why some people fail with one methodology while others succeed, and some unique individuals actually find great success with seemingly outdated methodologies like Waterfall. Much like with any good pasta, its not the ingredients in the sauce, its the sauce-maker(s).
I guarantee you that even the most rigorous Agile shop will see great variance (good and bad) between projects merely due to the different personalities of the project managers who manage each project. This is the human factor of software development that can never completely be erased. Your best hope is to try to control, monitor, and compensate.
There are plenty of excellent books to help you define your rules-of-engagement, develop good habits, and provide checks-and-balances throughout your project. However, ultimately experience is our best teacher for what habits, styles, and attitudes result in the most successful projects. Of course, to complicate things further, these same success factors may change from project to project.
In my opinion, good project management is like any other art form - everyone has different tastes, everyone does it at least a little different, and deep down you just hope that you have the right combination of experience, talent, and style to be able to execute on your vision. I'm just curious about how many other styles of project management are out there, and which ones people find the most successful.
What daily personal work habits do you find the most crucial for project team members?
What project management styles have you seen that were the most successful? Least successful?
Does your organization try to limit the impact of personal style, or embrace it?