What Project Management Means To Me #PMFlashblog

What Project Management Means To Me #PMFlashblog

Project Management Flashblog BadgeThis was a tough article to write, considering that this article on the topic “what does project management mean to me” is being published with another 71 of the leading project management bloggers around the world, talk about pressure…

I sat for a couple of weeks mulling over the topic for the post, what does project management mean to me? Really, how do I write about that, who should I target it for? In the end, I reached out to my wife and asked her what I should write about, her response as we lay in bed that night was, “well what DOES it mean to you”? and then it hit me…

Project management means everything to me, it is my life. Not only have I dedicated the last 15 years to the craft, spent countless hours and money on training, certifications,qualifications, attending conferences and other industry events, all to improve myself as a project manager.

Not only is it my career choice, but it also puts food on my table every night and pays the mortgage. Yes it takes me away from my family when I need to travel, but it also gives me the opportunity to see the world and meet great people.

My father, a Carpenter instilled in me very young the importance of creation and the satisfaction it brings, I could see in his eyes that he loved every last bit of Carpentry, most days after he had backed up, he would glance back at what he had created for the day… I never really understood that as a youngster…

Like any good son, I learnt Carpentry with my Dad and after spending years on the tools learning that craft, something was missing.

I moved into supervising and really enjoyed the fast pace environment in which that demanded, but it was still not fulfilling. I eventually found my way to Project Management, not really knowing what it was, I studied project management at night and managed to move myself into a Project Management job and immediately felt a sensation of satisfaction. The job had it all, financial control, operational control, leading teams, creating and yet still in the executive environment that I enjoyed. This was it! Hallelujah! 

I have never been tempted to change career, I have been content in this profession and striving for perfection in it from day 1, sure I have moved across industries, but always staying within the scope of project management. I distinctly remember sitting through the Advanced Diploma in Project Management and I had a sudden understanding, the most enjoyable roles that I held many years previous, were enjoyable because I was really managing projects, internal strategic projects and external client facing projects I just didn’t know it at the time.

I remember the time when I realised, I was actually doing project management all those years ago… My mind spun with my knew found knowledge of project management, what I would have done different and what I could have done better and how much dumb luck got me through! I vowed never to be in a position like that again and since then, I have continued to take courses, attend and speak at conferences, industry events and blog, all in an effort to expand and increase my knowledge of this amazing profession.

In a sense, I was both an accidental and deliberate project management. I accidentally fell into the craft, but quickly and deliberately aspired to dive into the deep end, I now Consult on project management and lead PMO’s.

From a professional sense, project management to me is akin to a road, it’s a mode of transport to get from point a to point b. There are many paths we could take that will lead us to our end goal, some will take longer, others will cost more. Project Management allows me to plan the optimal route and understand the signs and signals along the way, giving a clear direction and warning of going the wrong way or moving outside of the design limitations.

Project Management is not just about building a road, managing software, but a real means for business to deliver. Deliver for their customers. Deliver for their staff. Deliver for their shareholders. All of the greatest achievements in the world were delivered as projects. Nothing in business adds as much benefit or real world outcome as a well executed project and this is why I today am happy as a humble project manager.

The topic of this blog post is “What does project management mean to me? I think that is best answered with a rhetorical questions, “what doesn’t it mean to me?”

How often do you look back on your projects at the end of the day in awe at what you had created?

What does project management mean to you? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the comments below.

This blog was written in conjunction with over 70 other project management bloggers around the world, released at the exact same time on the exact same topic. The first ever #PMFlashblog.

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Here is the complete list of the other bloggers that participated in the #PMFlashblog.

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Who Wrote This Article? ...(It was: Chris O'Halloran)

I'm "Chris O". I've managed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects since the inception of my career. I love helping others figure out the intricacies of project management on any scale. Come find me on twitter or google+

Comments That Have Been Left So Far:

  1. Was a great read. I clearly got the satisfaction project management brings you. I get that too, it comes as a sense of confidence that, like you mention above, “what doesn’t it mean to me”. Project management is a lens to see that very road and the twists and turns ahead.

    My wife also answered the same as yours that jump-started my post.

    Appreciate your thoughts and coming over to my site to share your comment.

    Toby

  2. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for sharing. It’s a profession, no it’s a passion!
    And without passion you can’t be successful.
    Henny

  3. Hi Henny,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my article. This #PMFlashblog has certainly shown me how much passion we all have for this game.

  4. Chris, thanks for taking part in the #pmFlashBlog initiative.

    As I read through the large volume of opinions and ideas I am looking, in each post, for that piece of advice that would have made the initiative worth while.

    The following observation in your post is my take away from your contribution:

    “I have never been tempted to change career, I have been content in this profession and striving for perfection in it from day 1, sure I have moved across industries, but always staying within the scope of project management”.

    I love the passion you show towards this vocation. Being a good project manager requires this level of passion and commitment. Well said.

    Cheers, Shim.

  5. I enjoyed your post. It certainly is a privilege to meet so many other passionate PMs out in cyber space!

  6. Hey Chris,
    Enjoyed hearing how you found your way to project management. My story was very similar (except IT rather than carpentry). I never dreamed of being a project manager, just kind of found my way there, had a good blend of skills to do it, and here I am some years later!
    All the best,
    Francis
    http://qualityprojectdelivery.com/blog

    • Hi Francis, its been an interesting journey graduating from a mild mannered Carpenter to managing wide ranging projects from critical infrastructure to implementing IT systems to advertising and branding projects… I wonder what will be next?

  7. Great article – I certainly share your commitment to PM, and my own #pmflashblog article had a similar theme. PM is how I live, it’s not just a job!

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