Why I love Project Management.
In the day to day of life and work, we often don’t put much thought into what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. I want to pause for a moment to review why, exactly, I love project management.
“Some things are better done than described.” ~ Hunt and Thomas
For me, Operations tasks are a never-ending bore. Once I’ve mastered something, continuing to do it seems pointless.
I understand that there are functions in a company that needs to be done every month in order to run a successful business. Sales, accounting, and fulfillment come to mind. If you love the challenge in this work, more power to you. I can exist because you exist.
I enjoy project management because I love the fact that there is an end to this project, and I’ll be working on something different soon. I like doing something different every day, every week, and every month.
The never-ending diversity of work
“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” ~ Robert Gallagher
Each day as a project manager is different. Come in the office or log in and there’s a new question, new challenge, or a new success. I enjoy not knowing exactly what I’m going to face each day. Of course, there are a few constants – updating schedules, holding status meetings, reporting to upper management. But not so much that it’s overwhelming – in most cases!
I specialize in IT and software development and implementation projects, but there are so many different projects in this realm, that there is always something to learn. The project management processes stay the same. Planning the implementation of a new software package or updated server farm is always a learning experience.
No matter how many times you’ve done it.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
I’m a planner. Some people have this gene and some simply do not. I love putting together plans and guiding folks in getting the work done. I enjoy managing the schedule and watching the project evolve. I like putting together the plans and making sure everything is in order.
When the project is done, I look through the history for clues in how to do better the next time.
Just let me handle the schedule and the plan, and whatever you’re looking to accomplish will get done.
Working with smart people
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” ~John Wooden
I’m very lucky in my Project Management career. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very smart folks – which I find incredibly fun. Now, not everyone is Mensa-quality, but that’s not the point.
I love learning, so working with folks that have talents in areas that I do not is always a learning opportunity for me. Can this be very hard sometimes?
But no one said it would be easy.
No direct reports
“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” ~ John D. Rockefeller
I have spent time as a people manager with direct reports. I did fine, but it really wasn’t my strength. As a people manager, you have lots to do around growing your staff, performance monitoring and making sure both the company and the staff are getting what they need and are legally protected.
Important functions – but not roles I enjoy.
I really don’t want any direct reports – I’m happy that someone else is doing the hard work of people management. I’d rather work with the manager and the employee to get work done, treating both as the professionals they are. Most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
When it doesn’t work – that is another post!
Want to know the flip-side? Read the post, “What I hate about Project Management.”
I do love working on projects and seeing the results. I find it immensely gratifying. What do you love about working as a Project Manager? Let us know in the comments.
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