Project Management

You Are Not A Project Manager

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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.

Management is important on projects, from juggling tasks to managing schedules and risks. But it’s not enough. It’s leadership that sets us apart. It’s time to start thinking like and becoming a project leader. There are no short cuts.

This is the first article in a new series on leadership and communication. This series will purposefully stray from the trampled path of safe management advice that abounds in books and blogs. Instead it will seek to inspire good project managers to become better project leaders through forward thinking and leading edge approaches.

I want you to tell your bosses that you are not project managers — you are project leaders. But since they will probably ask what you are talking about, read this article first and then tell them.

What is the difference between management and leadership? Management is a very task-driven discipline. It involves a lot of ‘hard skills’ — things that you have to learn how to do, but once you have the skills and knowledge it’s a matter of just executing on them. Management is all about being able to efficiently and effectively repeat tasks — either directly or through others (the project team in the case of a project manager).

That’s important in project management — you have to be able to juggle a lot of tasks, manage schedules and risk, manage the expectations of stakeholders, etc — but it isn’t nearly …


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