Are We Crazy?

crazyWhy would anyone want to be a project manager (PM)?

It’s a lot of work. It’s been said, only partly jokingly, that a PM may spend about 80% of his or her time on communication tasks, and the remaining 80% on the other required tasks.

We get a lot of responsibility and hardly any true control. The “powers” take away budgets and people. Team members often must answer to their “real” managers instead of keeping their previous “commitments.”

Everything gets bigger except our budget. Our customers often want and expect new things because “the real world is about change,” but will not budge on budget because “an agreement’s an agreement.”

I know there are a lot more horrendous conditions out there that should dissuade any sane person from becoming a PM. So, why do we do it, and in some cases, thrive on it?

It’s never boring. It’s not the adrenaline rush of falling off a cliff (at least I hope not too often), but there is a certain frisson trying to prevent it.

There is a sense of accomplishment. That sense is only heightened by adversity.

We’re in the middle of the action. In projects, we’re often creating new things. Creation! Woohoo!

… and maybe the profession attracts people with a bit of craziness. Are you a bit crazy, or am I totally off?


1 thought on “Are We Crazy?”

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    Terrific summary of the life of many PMs, Alan! I think the job of a PM is ** THE BEST ** preparation for a general management position. Sure, it can come with way more responsibility than pay or prestige (appreciation!), but it was a terrific way for me to get loads of business management experienced when I was just a pip-squeek “individual contributor”. Now I run my own business quite nicely with the skills that I learned running projects. – Kimberly Wiefling, Author, Scrappy Project Management

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