Where Do We Start?

Now that I have the blog set-up and ready for action, where do I start?

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice‘s Adventures in Wonderland

In this instance the beginning is not a point in time or physical place or an event, but it is probably the lowest common denominator in the discussions to follow: The Project Manager.  The “Project Manager” title, handle, rank, nomenclature, etc. brings to mind a host of images based on one’s personal experiences.  So at the outset, let’s narrow our focus and define the role for purposes of our discussions.  (Note: I realize even within the following there is a continuum of knowledge levels, experiences, industries, etc., but at least it is a beginning and we have excluded some of the more questionable uses of the term.)

I’m aware of situations were individuals holding the project management title weren’t, at least from my perspective.  Some of the more interesting ones are,

  • A corporation wanting to embrace project management changed the titles of all their software programmers to project manager – now they had it
  • A couple companies that used the title for their order processors – each order/configuration was considered a project
  • Several companies where the primary role was that of a lead techie (engineer, programmer, etc.), with a little scheduling and reporting on the side – a lot of job opportunity ads call this a technical project manager

These are examples of what I want to eliminate from project manager discussions.

For the purposes of this blog, a Project Manager is the individual singularly responsible for management (leadership) of the project (or sub-project) and ensuring it meets its goals and objectives.  Additionally,

  • Think of them as the manager of a business, the project, which includes all normal management functions intertwined with the project management skill set
  • He/she is NOT a contributor to the work content of the project; those are subject matter experts (SME), techies or, in project management lingo, resources

Finally, as the blog discussions develop there will be other definitions we will need to drive a stake in the ground for, such as Program Manager.

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