As project managers, when we start a project, it is usually just a concept. To get from this concept to the finish, we need procedures, methods, and tools. However, there is more to project management than this. I’ve always considered myself to one who got things done and from my experience, project management also involves:
Technology. You’re starting with a blank piece of paper and developing what you think someone else wants. New technologies and materials allow you to be even more creative. By using technologies like 3D printing, you can physically show the stakeholders what you are planning. You need to be aware of new advances in technology and have your team apply them to the project.
Daily problems. You need to be able to solve problems, which occur daily. Following a systematic approach rather than trial and error will result in better solutions. Be prepared to think outside the box. Look ahead; what can you do now to prevent a problem in the future?
Getting what you need. Since all your resources are limited (labour, equipment, material, and funding) you must work at acquiring what you need. You must anticipate what you need in advance and get commitments for the resources. If you have a history of delivering what you promised, this makes getting resources easier. If people want to work for you, even better.
Your team. You should know your team. Take every opportunity to train the junior members of the team. Use your projects to improve their skills. Understand what motivates each member and change your style to match theirs.
Being honest. Projects go through highs and lows. There are always good and bad rumours and it is up to you to be honest about them. The team needs to stay focused through the ups and downs.
In the end, we do it all because projects are fun and can take from six months to up to two years or more to do, so your team becomes important to you. When the design, construction and startup come together and everything performs as designed, there is a “rush” of satisfaction and achievement. A high or an emotional release. You can get the “rush” on small projects that work out, as it depends on your skill level. This is the joy of working on projects, being a project manager, and what keeps us going.
Watch the following video to the end which illustrates the “rush”, the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment better than I can explain it in words:
I hope you are lucky enough in your career to experience this.
— Morley Selver