I became a project manager overnight.
Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time.
Before my current job, I had never done pure project management. Yes, I had achieved great things as a Regional Marketing Manager; executing campaigns on time, following up on results and doing some light planning, but that was it. I’d never had a team reporting to me and I’d never been fully accountable for a budget. All of that changed when I came into my new job.
All of a sudden I’m thrown into the world of agile methodologies and iterations, backlogs, stakeholders, deadlines and detailed process maps. Clearly I don’t know any of this, and I love it. This is an opportnity to learn.
The Project Manager is accountable for ensuring that everyone on the team knows and executes his or her role, feels empowered and supported in the role, knows the roles of the other team members and acts upon the belief that those roles will be performed.
My personal challenge with project management is having to overcome my own weaknesses in order to be a good leader. How do I empower others when I don’t feel empowered myself? How do I support others when I feel overwhelmed?
The answer to all questions is knowledge. The more I know about the project, the methodology and the impact everyone in the team has, the easier it is for me to feel empowered. The more I feel empowered, the less I feel overwhelmed.
I became a project manager overnight. It certainly hasn’t been a work of my own, but of a team of incredibly talented people. I can’t say it has been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding.