Project Management

3 Points to Promote Project Management in Conversation

Project managers understand how critically important project management is to business health—but many others in the business (or just in life) still do not. Perhaps to some higher-ups, project management just falls into the pejorative realm of “tactics” and so is not relevant to them. Whatever the case, Dave Wakeman offers some ideas for improving project management’s image in a post for Voices on Project Management. He suggests three points you can raise in casual conversation with the uninformed:

  1. Project managers are great at helping to solve the right problems.
  2. Project managers aren’t just techies.
  3. Project management can take an organization from failure to success.

Promoting Project Power

Project managers are coordinators and problem-solvers. They listen to clients and users, develop an understanding of their problems, and bring resources together to solve those problems in a satisfactory way. Especially good project managers will use critical thinking skills to imagine solutions and deliver ROIs that stakeholders may not have even considered.

And as you well know, project management is not exclusively the domain of IT, though it has certainly found an excellent home there. Project management skills and best practices can enhance the way work is done in virtually any line of work. Friends and family might be surprised to learn just how useful you can be for planning a surprise party, for instance!

Finally, about leading an organization to success, Wakeman says this:

In many startups, or new project situations, the whole framework of the project is based around an idea, a solution or a theme. This can often lead organizations down a road of throwing things at a wall and hoping something sticks…

Fortunately for us, as project managers, planning is drilled into our psyche—and planning is the skill most crucial to success. You don’t need more ideas for how to solve the problem, and you don’t need more people trying to figure out what will stick. You need a plan of attack with a process in place for collecting feedback and adjusting accordingly. This is basically the textbook definition of a project manager’s role.

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