Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The #PMFlashBlog - Right here, Right now

You knew this was coming and now it's here:

#PMFlashBlog - What Project Management Means To Me

Project Management is an interesting beast conjuring up lots of images and meaning many things to many people. Those who do it are professional in their work yet the debate rages as to whether it’s a profession in its own right. I don’t think it matters much if the people doing it are professional in their actions and desire to do quality and valuable work. Ultimately it’s about people, change, leadership and management. But this post isn’t a debate about what project management is or isn’t. No, it’s a post about what project management means to me. 

So, regardless of your experience, involvement with it or credentials, I believe project management exists to contribute and deliver value to an organisation and its business. This must never be underestimated or lost sight of.

With that in mind here’s what project management means to me…

An Opportunity to do more than tick a box, file a report, fight a fire, motivate and appease, and attend meetings. Project management gives people and companies an opportunity to understand and normalise change. Through project management the business is able to understand the probable project outcomes and how the project can help not only achieve but sustain the change that’s coming. People have an opportunity for encouragement, empowerment and development. In project management hard skills are expected yet people can also practise and hone the soft skills necessary for good sound leadership and management.

A Wide Variety of projects, Companies, locations, industries, people and cultures means project management is a portable discipline. Particular industries may require specific knowledge or expertise however the underlying fundamentals of good project management are the same. Because organisations use projects to achieve lower costs, increase revenue, meet market demands, be competitive, and respond to the ongoing ever present financial pressures of doing business today, those experienced in the disciplines of project management can enjoy a variety of projects staying fresh and interested in the work they choose to do.

There’s a Sense of Satisfaction derived from moving things forward, achieving tangible results and showing the targeted benefits are actually being achieved. Coupled with that is a Sense of Frustration when decisions are delayed, agendas clash and projects go haywire for a multitude of reasons. This double edged sword is not unique to project managers; it’s felt by companies too. 

It’s a Global Community that offers in person and virtual interaction with peers, constant learning and access to a worldwide knowledge base of viewpoints, expertise and experience. Whether you’re a credentialed project manager or accidental, the project management community is a place to share, empathise, sympathise, learn, teach, laugh, mentor and be mentored, grow, understand and appreciate diversity, commiserate and celebrate. Project management is constantly evolving with participation both welcomed and encouraged. There’s the Association of Project Management, Project Management Institute, LinkedIn groups, Twitter communities [eg: #pmot (project managers on twitter), #PMChat (project management chat), #ftpm (first time project managers)] and of course this, #PMFlashBlog.

I rest my case! Now it's your turn. Comment below and share what project management means to you.

Footnote: This post is published as part of a first ever project management related global blogging initiative to publish a post on a common theme at exactly the same time. Over 70 bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA have committed to make a blogging contribution and the fruit of their labor is now (literally NOW) available all over the web. The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please, go and check them out!


  1. Yes, it's all about people, change, leadership and management. Great post Deane.

  2. Great post Deanne! Satisfaction and Frustration - two great words to sum it up IMHO :)

  3. Deanne, I couldn't agree more. I believe the most important thing to remember about project management is that ultimately we are delivering value to the customer/business.

  4. Really great to see your contibution to project management encouragement, empowerment, an development. I am an organization development lead and feel the only way an organization develops is if people develop.

    Project management provides a way to know what it looks like when you get there - to build a compelling case for the future-state as the preferred state to the current.

    As you point above, and I echo, the soft skills are a misnomer, to motivate others takes the hard skills.

    And just as people develop, so too, project management develops. Thank you for articulating your thoughts.

  5. I agree that PM is portable, and that's not something we talk about often enough I think. It is important to understand the business context, but you don't have to be the expert in the room. Thanks Deanne!