Welcome to My Project Delight

I became a project manager by accident. Many years ago, the only opening at an organisation I wanted to work for was mysteriously called ‘project manager’. I applied, successfully passed the competition and they offered me the job. I hardly realised back then what the job is about and what to expect. I was all smiles on my first day. The organisation did its best, but it was also going through change management. I continued to put on a brave face. Very soon an avalanche of a multi million Euro projects portfolio, I was supposed to “manage”, challenged my smile with a smirk: “Let’s see your talents now”. Needless to say that as soon as my previous employer got back to me, I returned to the job I felt comfortable at.

In time, project management became a professional delight and I always cherished my first experience. I wish back then I had a mentor or coach, or resources, which would explain the tips and tricks of the trade.  This blog is inspired by my younger self and the every day learner I am aspiring to be. Myprojectdelight.com is my Giving Pledge.

I manage projects mainly in the development management environment, which fosters numerous transferable skills and competences for both private and public sectors.

Generosity and knowledge sharing are my values. I offer tips whenever I can. “Tips are like hugs, without the awkward body contact” I once read next to a tips box in a cafe in an airport. So are the tips on this blog.

Enjoy it, thrive and share it around you!

“I would rather eat a cactus…than run a project” by Lesley Elder-Aznar

I found the title funny, even if I would rather not eat a cactus, in any event, unless it has been processed into agave syrup. Many of the aspects touched upon resonated with my project manager’s life in the corporate world: negotiations with other departments, the surprise of learning about costs recharging, change management…

The book covers the lifespan of a project from initiation to the business case, kicking of the project, executing, communication and training plans, to closing and monitoring of the project. Sections on project roles (who is who), agile project management and behaviour changes enrich the technicalities with insights.

As the author tells us herself: “The whole purpose of this book was to demystify project and project jargon, to make it less scary, to make it more accessible to everyone. Not just the people who are working in project world, but all of the people who are on the receiving end of change, or unwittingly seconded onto a project.”

It is indeed a book largely for uninitiated. Yet, those who are more experienced can still find useful reminders. I also read it as an invitation for staying humble in interactions with more junior by experience colleagues.

It also felt at times as reading through training materials or attending a training as on some pages the author “speaks” to you (“hold on..”, “humor me…”). There is nothing wrong with that and there are readers who prefer this way of presentation of information. It can also inspire you in you are preparing for a training delivery – forget not to give credit.

The lines that made me smile:

“If you have a Finance team that can organise this without you promising to name your first-born child after the Finance Manager, then you are destined for success!”

“Your friendly Finance business partner will spend much time explaining to you about cost-centres and WBS (work breakdown structure) codes and how it’s all going to take place in the monthly cycle. Just nod along and ask them to email you when it’s done. Or you risk wasting years of your life trying to understand it.”