Project Management

5 Lessons Project Managers Can Learn from Event Managers

How is managing an IT project like organizing a wedding? Caroline Ginnane, writing for the Association for Project Management, explains how taking five cues from event managers can give PMs a reason to celebrate.

1. The Project Proposal

Project managers, though they aren’t usually involved in the initial proposal process, should understand how an event manager designs and how they pitch their project proposal to a potential client. As Ginnane writes:

Typically, project managers are either handed new projects to manage from their current employer or specifically hired to manage an existing project for a new company, meaning that they often have little to do with the initial proposal process. That being said, you’re bound to be tasked with delivering a pitch at least once in your career, so it’s important to learn the necessary skills early on.

Event managers construct pitches that are highly visual, dynamic, and intuitive, so the PM should pay close attention to their style.

2. Forestalling Disaster / Being Flexible

Event managers need suitable back-up plans that they can implement at the last minute. Likewise, a project manager should expect that anything could go wrong, and should prepare accordingly.

3. Being Personable

Project managers are not always known for their brilliant people skills (an inherent trait of a good event manager). The lesson: giving staff a way to communicate informally will better facilitate the flow of project-relevant information and will foster better relationships at work.

4. Making it Look Easy

Avoid responding to problem situations with despair. Otherwise, you risk setting an unproductive mood for staff. A little charm and a positive attitude work for the seasoned event manager. They can work for the PM too.

5. Enjoying the Process

To enjoy the process of project management, try chatting with staff and clients from time to time. New deadlines will always be looming, but as Ginnane advises, it pays to revel in the small victories of the project.

Read the full article at:

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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