What makes a good project manager? Is it the Master’s degree in Project Management? How about obtaining the Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification? All this formal education and theory definitely help especially when projects are valued at millions of dollars and all the neat little tricks are needed. But I’ll argue great project managers can be cut from many cloths and are often overlooked. As an example, how about the local guy who owns you favorite pizza joint? Not only does he cook the best pizza in town, he also has to ensure all the supplies are available to make your order. Another good example may be a wedding planner. Wedding planners track a lot of critically important issues which all come together at once making for a wonderful experience.
Recently, I experienced a life-changing event. About 4 months ago, my first child was born; a baby girl. If you were to perform an analysis of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of my wife and I rising out daughter, you would find my wife accomplishes 95% of the tasks, the other 5% are accomplished by me. I often tell my friends the 5% I am responsible for is difficult. I stand in amazement of how my wife manages most of our daughter’s upbringing. Before bed there is a bath, bottles and formula for the nightly wake-ups are in her room, cloths are laid out for the next morning, laundry is done throughout the day, daughter is fed lunch, dinner is made for the family… Cost Variance (CV) and Schedule Variance (SV) are also always under analysis… and these are just a few things. So, in essence the title “project manager” is not fitting. At the very least, she is a “multi-project manager” but if you wanted to keep it simple “program manager”.
I have a new appreciation for moms. Throughout our journey to parenthood we have met many great moms (project managers) who have taught us so many things. To LW and TLM… thank you for being an example for us. My advice to readers, take a look around and find a good mom you can learn from. You may be surprised what at the knowledge you will acquire.