Two or three years ago I received a mail that was supposed to be for business managers only.
One of these managers, by mistake, spread an excel file containing the list of employees who did not have an active contract at that time. For those not familiar with consulting, you have a salary but not a job.
I looked into the long list, ignoring names and focusing on the “skills” column.
Most of them were Project Managers, Project planners, Project analysts, Team leaders, Senior project coordinators.
The rest were young testers with little or no experience, young, underpaid and maybe beacuse of that, easier to reintegrate somewhere, somehow.
That was a real trigger in my mind; I looked carefully my business card and for the first time reconsidered my position of Senior Project Manager.
I realized that around me there were Project Managers everywhere.
Funny to say, but in all the projects I was involved in, there were several managers reporting to an “Initiative manager”. It sounded like an army of Generals, but no soldiers. We could prepare a perfect strategy, but for a sudden death.
In the consulting world, it’s quite common to start as a developer, or hardware engineer, or someone who really knows how to do something, and “growing” up to a project management role.
The fact is, that unless you are not managing business (and business is money), you are managing nothing, or barely yourself.
Project management meant doing properly, orderly and methodically the common daily routine.
Yes, yes, I can hear you complaining. You may say I do not know what I am talking about. But believe me, I have also studied those boring PM body of knowledge, and spent long time over expensive PRINCE books in glossy cover paper. I can define project planning and use software tools with ease, assign stakeholder roles and responsibilities, deliver project reports and risk assessment analysis.
I have spent hours in endless conference calls, wrote tons of mails and minutes. I led project to an end.
I have eaten, drank and breathed the so called PROCESS.
I am not saying it’s unnecessary, that’s not the point of this post.
I am just inviting you wondering how this can help you once you fall into an excel cell, in the “waiting for a project” sheet.
Come on, if you are a project manager, and I know you are a good one, just manage to stay away from that risk.
And from time to time, remove your pompous sign and just tell me the practical things you can do better than anyone else.