Repeat After Me: I Am Not A Paper Pusher
Organizational change leader or glorified clerk: never has the continuum of possible roles for the project manager seemed quite so wide. Interviews with sponsors, team members and project managers themselves at a number of companies in the last few weeks and months have simply reinforced this. What organizations want is the leader. What many feel they are getting is the clerk.
Unfortunately, I fear that project managers may actually have to shoulder the blame for a lot of this perception. To understand why, however, it’s helpful to step back and take a quick survey of the organizational project landscape.
Without a doubt, projects have become fairly widespread in the organizational heartland. They are the vehicle for change and the enabler of new product developments. Billions are being invested in projects as we speak, with an expectation of a much greater corporate return as a result. The stewards of these investments are the project managers--authorized to spend organizational resources to secure the objectives of the projects.
So what is the common perception of project managers and their role? “They fill out forms.” “They call meetings, issue agendas and write up minutes.” “They ask technical resources for how to solve an issue and they write it up.” “They have status meetings to find out progress and change the length of
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