Saturday, August 13, 2011

Now What?

Interview situation, I need to pick my single greatest strength. Well, that's got to be my goal driven personality. I like to think of myself as God's bullet, once a course has been set I will tear through anything to get to it. My writing is an example of that, it's a perquisite feature of any person capable of seeing a novel to completion.

It's also why I'm alright at my job. If I have a clear idea of what I'm trying to achieve anything that stands in way has its days numbered. I take immense satisfaction in achieving things that I considered near-impossible. I like to be proven wrong by my own pigheadedness.

The thing that bothers me now is, if one does achieve their goal. Then what? This question is at the core of my new-found interest in the art of project management.

The key of project management is to make something large and insurmountable into smaller manageable pieces. A Project Manager takes the ten year project of an absolute genius and transforms it into a six month task for a talented group of people. Well, that's the idea behind it anyway.

It's the big picture that drives us, people like me. The novel is the perfect example, I always have a strong view of where I am in the work and I always feel that at the end of every period of sustained work that I am closer to the end. The satisfaction at the end of every day is a piece of what I'll feel at the end and part of what drives me to it.

In a well managed project you feel the same way, that you've bitten off a bit of a larger whole. That satisfaction drives on every member of the team, day to day until victory is achieved.

But what if a project is badly managed? I suppose that's like writing my book if I had no idea how long it would be, what tone I was aiming for and who I'd imagine reading it. Every day I worked on it I would only feel more confused and demotivated, eventually the book would probably be abandoned.

Project management is everything to a person like me, as a writer, as a programmer and to every slave of goals. The Project manager is the king of the Now What?, the most important element of any project, big or small.

The worrying thing is that in my career thus far I honestly haven't witnessed a very high level of it. It seems the more divorced that Project Managers become from the actual work being done the less efficient they become. Is it such a rare skill set to be able to have a high level view of a project and have the positive energy to sell it to people and to make them feel that their piece is significant?

Ultimately, I think every person wants to feel part of something greater. The thing is that anything can be great and a piece can be as good as a whole. There are no excuses.

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