Project Management Concepts – The Project Manager Manages

Today I want to look at how the project work gets done. We already know we need to protect the team, and make sure they can get on with the tasks assigned to them. But this also means we need to get on with the tasks assigned to us, the job of project management. The concept I am looking at today is: The project manager doesn’t do the work, he does the managing.

Project management is hard work. On all but very small projects, it is a full-time job. And that means you really shouldn’t be being pulled off to do other work in the project.

I’m not saying that we don’t have the skills to do some of the work. Many of us will have worked our way up through doing project work – we are used to it, and we understand it.

But if we are doing the work, then we aren’t managing the project! We need to remember where our skills lie. Often we will get dragged into doing the some of the tasks, but this is a failure of project management (usually on the organization’s behalf), not an essential part of it.

Make sure you are using appropriate resources to get the work done. The project manager is rarely an appropriate resource! And that gives us a project management concept: The project manager doesn’t do the work, he does the managing.

(Having said that, I have ended up doing project work for the majority of projects I have worked on. This isn’t a good thing, but it is the real world. You should aim to avoid this if at all possible.)

Project Management Concepts – Why Do We Manage Projects?

I’ve been giving some thought recently as to what lies behind the work we do as project managers. Too often we get caught up in the tools and techniques, the how of what we do, without looking at the concepts and ideas behind it, the why of what we do.

Today, I want to look at something basic: Why do we manage projects?  What’s the reason for doing this?

The project management concept I am looking at today is: Project management is about making the project environment as stable as possible. What is possible varies.

Let’s explore what I mean by this. As we know, a business needs to embrace some change to make sure it continues to compete in its market, to stay relevant to its customers. But businesses in general try to be stable – to provide certainty to shareholders and staff.

These two competing demands come to a head in projects. Projects bring change into the business, which means they could be seen as threats to the business stability. Uncontrolled change has a name – chaos. So change can only be brought into a business in a controlled manner.

And this is what project management is about. Projects are about change, so the management of that change is an attempt to control it. It is an attempt to provide a stable environment within which change can happen. That stable environment protects the business from uncontrolled change, while providing a space for change to occur.

But, of course, how stable the environment can be depends on the specifics of the project. For example, a project to build a new office building needs a very stable environment indeed – an attempt to change the design after work has begun on construction is likely to be impossible, or exceedingly costly.

Alternatively, software projects can cope with a much less stable environment – yes, work may need to be done to ensure earlier completed sections are adapted to the new design, but this is much more possible, and cheaper, than with a physical product.

We can see, then that “as stable as possible” can vary widely. This is a natural consequence of the particular change being brought about through a project.

This gives us, then, one of our project management concepts: Project management is about making the project environment as stable as possible. What is possible varies.

Maximize Your Management Concept Training Course For Higher Work Effectiveness

A management concept training course, when applied correctly, can help to boost your company’s production and work effectiveness. When you apply the concepts that are taught in the course and are consistent, you will notice an exponential increase in efficiency in regards to personnel and operations. While there are many different types of management concept training courses available, only a handful are on a level where they can be properly utilized on an organizational level. These five tips will help you maximize and hone the skills that you learn in a management concept training course.

1. Use your Notes

All too often people sign up for training courses and skills enhancement courses and when they walk out the door they leave a good percentage of what they learned behind them. Studies show that people only retain a small percentage, in the neighborhood of 24%, of information that they are told or taught – unless they write it down. Take notes and USE THEM! Refer to them often, transcribe them to share with coworkers and apply what you learned to real life situations.

2. Have Regular Staff Development Meetings

Having regular staff development meetings where you reiterate and expand upon the material you covered at your management concept training course will help to make it a part of your organization. As you work on your skills, developing them and honing them, you are applying them to real life situations. Additionally, you are working with others in the applications of the principles taught.

3. Create a Focus Group

Create a focus group with a good, diverse team to bounce ideas off of each other. Discuss the principles that you learned, use your notes from the course and talk about ways to realistically apply the principles to your own organization. Explore creative applications for the skills and teach the other members of the focus group the skills you learned in your management concept training course.

4. Ask Questions

Ask questions and get feedback about how the principles and skills are working in your organization. Don’t, however, contain your quest for feedback solely to upper management. Ask lower level employees. They are often on the front lines, dealing directly with customers, product and operations so their feedback and suggestions could prove to be invaluable.

5. Keep on Learning

Don’t limit yourself to just one management concept training course, keep on learning! Take other courses that are related to your topic and look for courses that build on your existing skills, particularly those that you learned through your initial management concept training course. Never stop learning, update your skills, abilities and knowledge regularly.

When you attend a management concept training course, you can bring to your organization and position. There are even more ways that you can help your managers increase their effectiveness at work, never stop exploring.