“We should take care not to make the intellect our god. It has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead, it can only serve.” Albert Einstein
Three golden rules, from 25 years ago:
- No surprises
- Dont’ take the piss
- Dont’ sweat the small stuff
Resonate as valid to me 25 years later. Enjoy the short visual!
I have one more: you manage the project, not the other way around.
“The glue that holds people together in a team, and that commits people to an organisation, is the emotions they feel” , “The new leaders” by Daniel Goleman.
I liked this presentation, even if it seems to paint a rather rosy picture of the project manager’s life https://www.apm.org.uk/news/how-to-become-a-project-manager-video/. Not that the project managers’ life is dull. Quite the opposite on some days. I know a project manager who was once introduced by her boss as “this is our project manager who was greeted with a kiss by the deputy minister at our last steering committee’s meeting”. You may call it “perks” of the job.
From what i’ve seen so far, project management is for anyone who enjoys the action and aims higher, is ready to serve others and plans the details to the devils’ envy so that others relax.
Anyway, if you are doing project management or plan to do it, love it – wisdom by Alfredo, Cinema Paradiso.
The title “Are Chatbots the Next Project Managers?” of a linkedin post drew my attention. “For now, project managers can remain calm as their roles are safe, but they should be weary of chatbots slowly stealing their jobs from right under their nose.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chatbots-next-project-managers-aaron-montemayor-walker?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BJjB5wpQXj4RNeQKbCfjJzg%3D%3D
The article seems to imply that project managers’ job is to chat, a function that can be replaced by chatbots. I wish my job would be about mastering the skill of chatting only. Light chatting, water cooler conversation, coffee room chat…. I’ll maybe try doing that. Chat for a week and then look at the project’s dashboard and show it to the project sponsor and board.
The above article also brings some good news as well: AI replaces professions with a high degree of professionalisation. “In fact, as time goes by, it becomes easier and easier to replace humans with computer algorithms, not merely because the algorithms are getting smarter, but also because humans are professionalizing. Ancient hunter-gatherers mastered a very wide variety of skills in order to survive, which is why it would be immensely difficult to design a robotic hunter-gatherer. Such a robot would have to know how to prepare spear points from flint stones, find edible mushrooms in a forest, track down a mammoth, coordinate a charge with a dozen other hunters and use medicinal herbs to bandage any wounds. ” from http://ideas.ted.com/the-rise-of-the-useless-class/
That shows that project managers are not in danger of loosing jobs to AI, given the variety of skills they need to master and apply. Not as physically intense as those of an ancient hunter, but still. One more study shows that “workers who successfully combine mathematical and interpersonal skills in the knowledge-based economies of the future should find many rewarding and lucrative opportunities.” https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/jobs-of-future-and-skills-you-need/. for instance, negotiating with a difficult client and delivering for a financial and performance audit are project manager’s duties, which go right into this categories.
Still, no time to rest on laurels, while chatbots deliver and develop. The only way to keep a job and to continue to love what you do is to keep learning. People smarter than me know it and do it.
How to recognise a project manager who reached the final milestone on a critical path?
By the key in his/her hand. When attempting to open the apartment with the office badge and the office door with a home key 🙂