The world isn’t what it should be. We want to change it for the better. What is the key, the spell, the magic that will help us do that? Or at least make stuff suck less?
And I answer, “Project Management,” which might not be the answer people want.
Workboards and flowcharts aren’t exciting to most people. Market research sounds boring at best and manipulative at worst. We want to act and get things done cleanly and honestly (at least honestly). No one wants to be like some chart-obsessed office drone from a sitcom.
As a professional project and program manager, I feel otherwise most strongly. Project Management is power.
Look at the state of the world. The bad people are organized and productive, and there’s often more method to madness than you think. Sure, they may not realize the ultimate results of their bad ideas, but they’re certainly getting them implemented. If you want to make it in this world, change it, work your mystic and mutant strageness, you need to know how to get things to happen.
If you want to do something you need to know how to make it into a project and get it done – often with other people.
The “secrets” of Project Manager and easy to find – they’re not really secrets. David Allen has written a bunch of great stuff under his “Getting Things Done” brand, and yeah he’s commercial, but he knows what he’s talking about (take it from me). David Marquet does great stuff on leadership that explores language, management, and mindset. For that matter, grab the Scrum Guide to check out a light way to organize projects from the “Agile” movement, or go to the Project Management Institute to go old-school.
The power is out there to get stuff accomplished.
I can say, personally, when you dive into Project Management and productivity in general, it turns out to be magical. I mean this near-literally; it reminds me of occult and meditative systems.
You learn how to see the things you need to accomplish in a new way. You see how goals are something deep and meaningful, not buzzwords (or shouldn’t be). You understand breaking down work and how a project is a network of causality. You get a vision of how things can happen and get done – and make it happen. When you know Project Management the world becomes different because you can make things happen..
Project Management gives you a bunch of tools, techniques, and ceremonies (meetings and events) to bring some project to completion. Once you see your work differently, you can apply these tools to get a goal achieved. There’s vision and action, as long as you make an effort to learn it. In fact once you learn it, it’s easier to learn from other organizers using the same language.
I invite you to take a look at various Project and Productivity tools. Here’s a few to try:
- Getting Things Done by David Allen. A simple guide to personal productivity, not technically Project Management, but pretty much project managemnet.
- The Scrum Guide. Free, online, a fast project management method in the Agile vein, and so quick you can do it with sticky notes or an online document.
- Project Management All-in-One for Dummies. A combined guide for traditional and Agile methods, I’ve had decent results from the Dummies series.
- If you want to go hardcore, you can even dig up serious traditional “Waterfall” project management guides at the Project Management Institute, This is the serious stuff, mostly flowcharts and breakdowns despite the organization being open to lighter methods.
Let’s change the world – and get organized. What, do you want to leave all this knowledge in the hands of the people currently running the world into the ground?