Self Help for PMs

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Project management can be a lonely job. You are working with your project team, but you are the only person on that team who has responsibility for project management tasks so there isn’t anyone you can bounce ideas off of when you get stuck. You probably have project management colleagues, but they have their own projects to manage and aren’t always available if you get stuck. Of course you have a manager, but that’s not always the best option, either; you don’t want to go to your boss with every little thing, and you certainly don’t want to look stupid in front of them.

So what do you do? In my mind, you need a PM self-help group--and your PMO should be creating an environment where that model exists and operates successfully. Don’t get me wrong--I’m not suggesting some kind of group therapy, rather a way for project managers to work together to overcome challenges and learn from one another on a regular basis.

The concept
The fundamental need is to avoid having project managers who feel isolated or alone. Although they are solely responsible for the management activities on their projects, they need to feel that there is a support infrastructure in place that exists to provide them with the help, support and guidance that they need in a non-threatening way. This needs to be far more than just a series of processes and …

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"It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go."

- Bertrand Russell

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