Welcome to My Project Delight

welcome to MPDI became a project manager by accident. Quite an intro, i can hear you say. Bear with me. More than a decade 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 at the new job. The organisation did its best, but it was also new and in the process of organising itself and the newly arrived team. 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 professionally  delightful, although accidental, love. This perspective made me cherish my first experiences. I wish back then i had a mentor  or coach to talk to, a source of info which would explain the tips and tricks of the trade, a network of beginners who faced the same “smirking face”.  This blog is inspired by my younger self and the every day learner i am aspiring to be.

The kings and queens of project management will find this blog boring, and they are always welcome to share a tip or two.  “Tips are like hugs, without the awkward body contact” I once read next to a tips box in a Juice Bar in an airport. So are the tips on this blog. Sometimes they are just my two cents :). Anyway, let’s get tipping for a delightful project management experience!

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Thought of the year

2017 felt as a year of resilience testing more than before. Constant demands. Changing circumstances. It brought the knowledge of thyself and others to a new level. Humanity was put to test. Relationships evolved. All these are precious gifts of knowledge.

Thank you, 2017!

2018, let’s make the most of it and continue to thrive!

Inspired by “Those leaders with strong self-knowledge – who have a clear understanding of their skills and shortcomings, their frustrations, and their core principles – are more likely to sustain those needed reserves of resilience to thrive through adversity and change.” Ron Carucci, The Better you know Yourself, the More Resilient You’ll Be, Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/09/the-better-you-know-yourself-the-more-resilient-youll-be?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

A happy project manager

– What are you reading, Oxana? asked Frank, a consultant on the team.

– “The Project Manager who smiled”.

– Did you write the book?

-I wish. It’s Bob Taylor’s book, i smiled in response.

-See, it could be easily about you.

A smiling project manager is a happy one. What makes a project manager happy? A few things here and there. An approved budget report. A reached milestone. Or just getting to bed early at night. A visit to a spa also counts. Time for some manicure would be nice…

Throughout years i found out that there is an inner thing that makes us glow. The research on Emotional Intelligence – EI- shows that EI is the critical skill that happy people have in common.

Here is my list of what happy project managers have in common:

1. The Remember That They Are In Charge of the Project and Their Own Happiness

They set a reminder on their smartphone in case they forget.

2. They Let Go of Things They Can’t Control

They try their best to reach the objective. They spend the budget diligently. They persuade sponsors. They work hard. And they let go if the sponsor’s policy changes. They just take a deep breath, swear (sometimes loudly) and …. look for another sponsor. Looking at the pay grade also helps to let go ;).

3. They do not compare themselves to other project managers. They may steal an idea or two – as a form of flattery – but otherwise they stay clean on this record. And they know their self-worth.

4. They celebrate each milestone with the team. They love to be the Project Managers of fun.

5. They choose their shortcuts and battles wisely. They rarely fight. They negotiate a lot.

6. They keep their moral boundaries untouched. They do not compromise on quality. Their integrity is rock solid. This gives the a good night sleep.

7. They keep their desk clean and tidy, files organised and always ready to be put on display. Auditors knocking on the door? No problem. Come on in.

8. They roll their sleeves up and do the work and help others. They notice if an assistant cleaning the meeting room desks of the piles of documents needs a helping hand. Happy project managers are also mindful of generosity burn-out.

9. They smile, tell jokes and do not take themselves too seriously. After all, they know projects come and go. And all we need is fun and love!

Did you recognise yourself in the above? You can also make your own top ten happiness tips with anything that works for you and keep it close, for a moral boost .