Thanks 27: Project Management: aka What I do for a livingPosted: 2011/11/29
Happy Tuesday Lovies. I’m headed to a seminar for work so I have an entire almost hourish to bang this out this morning before I head out to a fun day of hearing how much bigger the 4 year project at work I’ve been Program Managing is than we think it is. Hope your weekend was fabulous and this week is bringing great things in spite of the crappy cold dark grey rainy weather we are currently enjoying here in the midwest. I often get asked what it is I do for a living. I work full time, as in 45+hours as week. I just am lucky enough to be able to do a lot of it from home. This makes my schedule flexible and also allows me to stay in touch with my stay at home friends. I am a project manager and I LOVE it!
#27: Project Management ala Arthur Christmas
I am thankful for project management today. I wish I knew PM existed when I was in college, I would of most certainly majored in it. Never has there been a career more suited to the strengths of my personality than a PM. I still remembering discovering this wonderful thing existed and entire industries revolved around it. If you have seen Arthur Christmas in the first scene when they do the first Christmas drop and all the ninja elves are moving in precision for their individual tasks. Steve, Santa’s eldest son, is managing the command center. They report back to him and he makes adjustments accordingly. Steve, is Project Managing that mission. His Project is delivery of all the toys to all the girls and boys. The elves know what they are supposed to do and are the experts at their individual jobs. But they rely on Steve to place some structure around the whole thing. He provides the organization, monitoring and control. If you added heading the planning of the entire project and various other negotiating, deflecting, and defusing tasks you would have the makings of my job. I perform these tasks inside the pressure cooker of a large organization in an industry where the Government not only shows up for regular audits at all 14 facilities, but also quite often dictates what work we will be doing and when we will finish…or else. I don’t know for sure what happens in or else, because in the 10 years I’ve been running regulatory projects I have yet to miss a deadline. That sounds all braggy to everyone except the people I work with because they know that the government also does a fair bit of changing their minds and giving everyone more time because no one is going to be ready when they said we should be. The government could use more Program Managers like me. A program is a grouping of more than one project that somehow fit together logically or technically. Like if maybe you divided all the countries into projects and they sat under the umbrella of the program managed by Steve. Each country would have different traditions and so the elf play book if you will would be slightly different. I’m almost done with Arthur Christmas references I swear. Overall Steve was a really good PM, though he sucked as a person for most of the movie in typical family movie fashion he and the other jerks pulled it out of their butts in the end and saw the error of their ways.
I am a certified Project Management Professional or PMP. The Husband says I’m a PiMP. This means that I applied for the right to take a test given by the Project Management Institute. Yes, you have to fill out an application and ASK to be able to sit for the exam. They have a long list of requirements, education and experience minimums etc that you must meet. After that you are basically training yourself to memorize the PM bible the PMBOK or Project Management Book of Knowledge. This book changes from time to time as it is peer reviewed and written, if the industry changes it changes in response somehow. I took an expensive class while I was pregnant with The Destroyer to study for this exam. It lasted about 12 weeks and comprised about 4+ hours of study in between classes, those hours climbed the closer to the end of class we got. It was probably a lot like what being in grad School is like, only I just had to do it until I passed the test. After the class and about 300 hours of studying I sat down at a testing center very early on morning in the 7 month of my pregnancy and passed that bitch in about 90-140 minutes with an 89%. When I took it you got 4 hours, and it was several hundred questions. I had a good class, I had good materials that taught me to train my brain to give the PMBOK answer, not the REAL WORLD answer, and I’ve always been pretty chill about tests. I feel like once i get to the test point I either know it or I don’t, why stress.
The principles of Project Management can be applied to almost any area of your life, including relationships. Not from a task master standpoint, from a planning, monitoring and making adjustments (controlling) standpoint. In fact this is a topic than Vin Deisel and I have discussed at length, and before I decided to write this blog we toyed around with doing a joint blog about Relationships and Project Management. With each of us contributing for a male and female point of view. I don’t know that we will ever take the plunge and do that, but I do know that VinD and I will most assuredly work together again at some point in our careers.
Now it’s time to head out to my seminar for the day!