Well, since this is my first blog post I thought I would make it about what I do and what I’ve seen working as a project manager over the past 15+ years. This is a foundational blog post sharing my views on what project management is and is not and what project managers do and don’t do.
Some people have a misconception about what project management is and what a project manager does. In the end project management is about executing change in your business*. A project manager helps facilitate that change, helps to ensure success across the business, and helps reduce the stress a company feels about the change through effective organization and education. The change might be wanting to grow (or even a start a business) with the implementation of a marketing project. The change might be a result of growth you have or are experiencing, it might be a technology deployment project, it might be an office move, it might even be preparation efforts for the transition of ownership/sale of your business to someone else… your exit strategy.
With that overview in mind, I thought I would start by sharing what I think project is NOT… and then get into what I think project management is and what project managers do. So let’s start with the “nots”…
Except for the normal day-to-day operations of your business, almost everything in your organization is a project. Having a project manager, or someone on your team to take ownership of project efforts regardless of what you call him/her, is essential to moving your business forward and really is the key to working ON your business rather than just working IN your business. Identifying who that person might be is key. I’ll have a future blog post talking more about that, but for now know that the right person must have strong organizational skills, effectively communicate, and be able to lead people they may not have direct responsibility over and hold them accountable while helping to remove roadblocks that might be keeping the team from getting work done. Finding this person either in or external to your company will surely reduce or even eliminate the stress you and your team are feeling about changes you are or want to undertake.
Use this project contract to establish clear project expectations. Creating mutual agreement and understanding of responsibilities will help eliminate later frustrations and project stress.
* Note: I use the term business, company, and organization interchangeably because project management is a discipline that facilitates change in for profit businesses, associations, not-for-profit organizations, departments, product teams, etc. I feel that this choice of words helps to reinforce the fact that project management is not just for large companies.
I have been in project management and process improvement for over 15 years working for large and small for-profit companies, associations, and not-for-profit organizations. After working in hospitality management for over 10 years, I underwent a career change moving into technology, working for GE. It was there I began working in project management and process improvement; training with GE's Six Sigma program. Later my career had me working with Constellation Energy in Baltimore, Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, and eventual transitioning into consulting working for federal agencies and most recently an industry association in the utility sector. I enjoy working with and helping small and medium-sized organizations build value in their business through strategy, project execution, systemization, and marketing.