What Do You Do With All That Free Time?

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.

I am conscious that as I write this I am running the risk of sounding like my grandfather who regularly told me as a kid that he “wished he had half of the benefits the kids of today have.” I promise to try not to claim project management “in my day” involved being chained to the desk for 23 hours a day making manual updates with a quill pen, but seriously, those of you entering the profession today have never had it so good!

That’s actually a very good thing. Technology has reduced the amount of time spent making manual updates to plans and reports, freeing up project managers to spend more time doing value-add tasks. The person who first taught me project management used to joke that communication takes 90% of a project manager’s time, and everything else takes up the other 90%.

It may still be a stretch to suggest that a PM is spending 90% of their time communicating, but they are certainly more involved with the team and stakeholders than they were when administration was more manual. The question though is, how do project managers best invest that time? How do they ensure they are maximizing the project’s chances of success?

A cautionary note
The easy answer to that question is that the PM should focus their time on the team, ensuring they are working together, motivated, engaged, aware of their work and the reasoning …

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"Truth comes out of error more readily than out of confusion."

- Francis Bacon