All Posts in control

March 20, 2015 - No Comments!

It takes true grit to be a good project manager

No one ever said that being a project manager is easy. In fact, on most days a lot of project managers wonder why they took the path into the world of wrangling people, process, and all of the very important details that come along with them. On other days, great project managers pat themselves on the back for mustering up the true grit they have deep within to not only manage all of those things, but lasso them in and hog tie them like a pro. screenshot_40 I've been a Digital PM for a long time, and I still encounter issues that seem impossible for me to resolve. I get nervous. I question myself, my team, and our approach in the face of a client conflict. I am always questioned by my team and my clients, yet I always find a way to respond and smooth things over. Sometimes I wonder how or why I do it, because it's difficult and stressful at times. Want to know the real secret? I love what I do because I am a problem solver and I thrive under stress. When I am met with an issue, I address it head on...in my own way. I've found that if I hold off on reacting immediately to an issue and take the time to think about it, I will find the best way to resolve it. Sometimes that means I need to step away and think about things: What is the true problem? Who is involved? Who can help? How can I solve this and make everyone happy? If I mentally take a step back and dissect the issue, I can truly find a resolution. If I take on a different perspective, I might find a clearer solution, or even see where I could be wrong. That's right. As project managers, we are not always right. Sure, we know the details, we know the limits, we set the expectations. But they change all the damn time. So there's a chance we just haven't changed with them...or kept up with them. So we can be wrong. I hate it when I'm wrong. Especially when I have to go back on my word, change a plan, or do something I REALLY don't want to do. But if I want to be good at my job, I have to be vulnerable and fess up to not knowing everything and owning problems. It's tough to do! It takes courage. To be a great PM, you need to be courageous enough to address a difficult situation head on. You also need to do it with grace. While you might be scared to death of that issue (and its potential outcome) inside, you have to be cool, calm, and collected on the outside. It's not easy to do, but it's what you have to do. The more confidence you display, the more trusted you will be, and the better results you'll see. As you gain experience being a PM, and experience within your industry, your company, and your team, you will find confidence. That confidence will bring the ability to face any situation head on with little hesitation. Now, I'm not saying that you'll always have the answers. I'm saying you'll know how to find them. And when you do, you'll have the courage to resolve them, whether that be through a difficult conversation, change request, email, and so on. You'll know that what you are doing is not easy, but that it needs to be done for the good of the project. And that is why you're a good PM. How do you muster up courage when you need it? Share it in the comments below!

November 26, 2014 - No Comments!

Act/React/React

If there's anything I've learned in this profession, it's that nothing ever goes as planned. You can write out a plan, communicate it line by line to everyone involved, get buy in, and a day later that plan will change. You can also write an email and intend the message to be received one way, but the person on the other end takes it a different way. Or, better yet, say something in person and have it twisted or misheard, only to land with someone else and completely confuse important details. Communications are tough, and no one can claim to have them right, because every person communicates differently. So just remember: no matter what you do, you cannot control the reaction to your actions. And that is perfectly fine, as long as your intent is genuine, your approach is honest, and your reaction is swift and corrective.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

August 6, 2013 - 3 comments

Out of Control

Most project managers think they should have total control of  their projects. They feel as though they have some sort of universal responsibility for the team, the client and the process. On some level, they do! But when it comes down to it, the responsibility is on a very high level. On the ground level, there are so many things that a PM cannot control. After all, we manage projects, we don't control them. Combined teams control projects, and each member of the team contributes to its success. Read more