Let me start by the end and issue as a preface what was supposed to be a postscript.
This post is published as part of a first ever project management related global blogging initiative to publish a post on a common theme at exactly the same time. Seventy four (74!) bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA have committed to make a blogging contribution and the fruit of their labour is now (literally NOW) available all over the web. The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please go and check them out!
Now, on with the painful part…
Some would say I’m a project manager because I am a boring individual. Ex-soldier, engineer, and project manager; how boring can you get? I prefer to believe that the common thread between soldiers, engineers, and project manager is that they are mission oriented people. We deliver something that has not been delivered before while trying to be on time and controlling cost.
Of course some would reiterate that I’m a boring project manager because I hide behind schedules, estimates, and processes. After all, if I could still do the job, I would not have been lobotomized and moved on to management. Actually, the schedules, estimates, and processes are only part of the job, as in managing tasks. They are part of a recipe that allows anybody with basic math skills to wrongly claim that they are project managers. If schedules, estimates, and processes where the end of the story; all projects would go smoothly and end nicely.
Now, the part that many never think about but is the reason I love project management is the leadership needed to bring the project to a successful conclusion. Again, manage tasks but lead people. Leadership is what keeps the project on track. The boring stuff, aka schedules, estimates, and processes allow the leader to see the effect of an action on the outcome of the project. If everything goes well, the boring project manager leads and measures while appearing to do nothing and be completely redundant. If the project is going or has gone off track, the now not boring at all project manager pull leadership out of his bag of tricks and cajoles, reassures, prods and convinces stakeholders and the people that really deliver (the team) back on to what will hopefully be a successful path.
What do you think? As always questions and comments are welcome.
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