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Topics: Career Development, Leadership
In what ways is a project manager a sculptor?
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It can be stated that project managers "Sculpt" projects for a living via devices such as the Charter. In what other ways do project managers take on the role of a sculptor?
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Interesting analogy, George!

I think each of the plans which a PM facilitates the creation of is an exercise in deciding what's in and what's not. Managing change is another way in which they help to sculpt the final outcomes.
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In systems engineering, the literature often describes it as removing ambiguity from the solution space. That is much like a sculptor removing material from clay or stone. Many PM activities work in that way. Risk management is another example where we carve out the uncertainties in the plan to reveal the solution.
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Interesting one. PM is more of an orchestrator than a sculptor.
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Good!
A sculptor uses skills and experience to create art. And a sculptor can be identified by his art because of his or her mindset.

I could see that we sculpt the influence structure of a project by creating an orgchart.
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I agree with Thomas and Kiron.
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Kevin’s systems engineering metaphor is right on target, and Yes - we orchestrate (by nature of our position).

I believe that PM’s always have a sculpting role (based on our "influence quotient"); unfortunately, we often don’t recognize this characteristic of our position. However, when engaged - this fact can help you gain "empowerment juice", which you can never have enough of on a project.

I’m also in agreement with Kevin regarding Risk. I view "Risk" as a moldable substance, one that finds reward when the sculptor (i.e. the PM) renders from a model of success. Although these metaphors may not be fully realizable for all PM’s, it’s important to recognize that there is more to a PM then being an orchestrator.
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If you practice lean by properly identifying the value streams in your project and removing waste from your project, then you follow the mythical advice from Michelangelo to simply "chip away the stone that doesn't look like David."

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