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Going Beyond The Project Manager Paradigm

February 6, 2017

The PM Tag

Project Manager a term we all know, miss use, misunderstand and at times is sometimes misaligned.  I personally hate using the Project Manager tag, but it is a convenient tag to use, like Accountants still use the Accountant tag.  I will come to this later.


The Modern Project Landscape


Today the trend on large ICT projects is to use many specialists, many technologies, many service providers to address many deliverables, hard (stated deliverables) soft (implied and aspirational deliverables).


All these MANYs create MANY PROBLEMS, actually what I like to called MANY OPPORTUNITIES.

Running projects with a PM methodology and tools is recommended, but using them no longer guarantees success.  Failure to use an appropriate tool set and some process is most likely to result in lower returns, so be weary of someone who says 'we are Agile, we are just doing it'.  They probably don't know what Agile is anyway if the truth be known.


The Team Delivery Approach

Yes I know what your saying, we all know TEAMs are important.  Well I would like to suggest, often the STYLE of a Project Manager (what I like to refer to as the Project Foreperson - PF) is often anti-TEAM.  On Projects today you are dealing with many teams, and the role of  PF is to get the BEST out of the TEAMs, RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES that exist.  The 1st is the most important because often the TEAMs will identify opportunities you may never see, or suggest ways to use resources you never thought of or knew existed.  It goes beyond the coaching analogy, and this is why I like the Foreperson Tag, as uncomfortable as it sounds.  PFs are facilitators of results on a daily basis through effectively communication and decision making with different teams, suppliers and third parties. 


In a NutShell

So if you are new to Project Management, you are probably open to this approach.  Ditch the Management part of the Tag and replace it with Foreperson in your mind.  If you are still looking for inspiration watch a documentary on construction projects or visit a building site. Margins are low, timing is critical, agility is essential and the concept of starting from the beginning again, is not an option.

ICT Project Delivery can learn a lot from  construction Project Delivery sector.


David Pierce
This article was posted originally in Linkedin 06/2016


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