What's Your Point of View?

PMI Delaware Valley Chapter

Laura Dallas Burford is the founder of LAD Enterprizes, a management consulting firm that partners with consultants as well as internal and external consulting organizations to successfully build the operational and delivery aspects of their practices. Laura appreciates feedback on her articles and can be reached at laura@ladenterprizes.com. She is the author of Project Management for Flat Organizations.

“How about you join us when we meet with the CFO? If they hire us to help with the financial software selection project, you’re the project manager. Instead of us talking, we’ll let you explain our methodology so that you can start building a relationship with him. Are you comfortable with that?”

Boy, I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday. I tried to anticipate potential questions about our methodology and project management approach. I was prepared—or at least I thought I was prepared. What I was not expecting was the CFO’s raising his hand indicating “Halt!”

What did I do wrong? The CFO commented he was comfortable with my expertise and the methodology, but he wanted to know my point of view. I sat there thinking, “My what?” I learned a few very valuable lessons that day.

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance you’re trained (if not certified) in project management. There’s also is a good chance that you have expertise in an industry, technology or a methodology and you have moved yourself from being that “standard” project manager to a hybrid project manager. Now I’m recommending you take being a hybrid project manager to the next level so that you are the most sought-out project manager around.

Have you ever been asked, “Help me …

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"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

- Fred Astaire