From freestyling to strategic performing at work
Within standard, ordinary processes, events drive actions. Within a Project Management approach, it is actions driving events. Which practice would you like best for your company?
Although we do it daily, carrying out multiple activities is never easy. Nevertheless, it can all be reduced to a choice: either you have them rule you, or you steer them with your ground rules.
And that choice is no one else’s but yours.
A tipical Monday morning: 9 AM, I switch on the telephone and check my mails. Not too bad, only 15 to respond urgently and some phone calls to do. I look at my colleague and discuss the first out of 5 strategic tasks to do.
After 5 minutes the phone rings and for what I thought would be an easy going Monday becomes the busiest of the month: we are on the right track!
But what does the right track really mean – you may reasonably wonder – when all of a sudden it seems like everyone needs you at the same moment?!
As if destiny is playing with you, we just go with the flow and see what we can do.
As human beings we all tend to respond to external circumstances once they occur. In a very spontaneous way we do react, re-set, re-arrange and re-solve things, events and above all problems, only after they have taken place, performed their show, produced their consequences.
And, unequivocally, we do this on a regular basis: not only when aiming at a goal or a performance.
It is exactly here that a Project Management approach becomes the strategic method to master variables towards an outcome -The Goal- and where many people -The Team- take and play their part to accomplish it. In simple words, it is all about planning a detailed strategy, before putting actions in place.
Not an exact, absolute science but an aim-focused global vision: PM approaches the outcome meant to get as the goal that is to be reached. That goal is the result of an integral combination of phases, inputs and contributions -like proper ingredients for the perfect cake- supplied within a specific time, at specific costs and under specific requirements; by each designated member of the involved team.
The backbone of PM is a method consisting in 5 phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and project close. Where planning plays the central, holy role throughout the full project chain.
Project Management in a nutshell?
Let’s approach it as conducting an orchestra and of course you, the Project Manager, are both the composer and the conductor in this case. You create the melody (initiation), outline the symphony and put the melody in concrete notes (planning). You then put all the ingredients, the instruments, together (execution) and arrange the musical harmony (monitoring). And finally, you set the rhythm and conduct the concert (project close). And if all is composed well, the audience (your client) will give you a satisfying applause.
To be continued in our next blog!