Project Management

Project Management Can Be for Everyone

So many project managers have a horrible time explaining what project management is to family and friends. And that is really pretty silly, because project management is a set of skills that can help virtually anyone in any situation. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Dave Wakeman shares a few virtues of project management that you should be able to explain to anyone.

The Manager in Us All

On one level, project management is about planning for specific outcomes. Anyone who has ever set a goal and had a hard time obtaining it can see the inherent value of a person who actually does meet his or her set goals. Another thing project managers do is master communication, because it is the only way to ensure projects proceed smoothly. Excellent communication skills also allow a person to endure or turn around conversations with difficult (or just plain annoying) people. Anyone with a pesky or hostile neighbor can appreciate a person who knows how to defuse uncomfortable social situations.

One more thing Wakeman says is that project managers are adaptable in the pursuit of long-term success:

No matter the industry or sector, we hear a lot about the need to adapt to the market around us. The funny thing is, as people with project management backgrounds, change is nothing new to us. In truth, managing change and keeping change in some semblance of order is almost as much of a key skill as communicating effectively. As change is inevitable and occurs more quickly, this skill isn’t just nice to have—it’s a necessity.

To put it in terms your family can understand, think about when you are trying to buy a gift that’s sold out. You don’t have long enough to order it online, and stores are closing in a few moments. All of a sudden Plan B and C start looking pretty good. It’s difficult, but necessary.

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