Project Managers really are in the driver’s seat when it comes to creating new products. Compare it to a bumpy road – there are deadlines, a solid dose of uncertainty, and plenty of planning along the way, but on the flip side, there also these truly satisfying moments associated with that position which I tend to label as: Satisfying Things About Managing Projects. And here they are:
Making a difference
As the stakes get higher, the vision of taking the lead and being in charge can be quite paralyzing for some. Others on the other hand will find it really satisfying. This is why the role of an effective Project Manager is so important. A person on such position will lead with an understanding that if they drive an idea or IT project towards success, a real difference can be made. No one will ever know the world we would live in if all those ideas and projects had been executed perfectly. What we can imagine, though, is the impact and value that can be added not only to the business, but through the world at large.
Building amazing things
This one is self-explanatory. Regardless of market competition and the constraints provided by stakeholders, it feels good to know that you are creating something that will meet or exceed expectations. Whether your task is to solve a complex problem, improve an already existing solution or create something new, yet desired, it is crucial to believe that you can do great – if only you are able to pass that feeling on your team, it will motivate them to work hard and accomplish amazing things together.
Being always able to perform better
Think about the spreadsheets tracking status of a project. How do they make you feel? Motivated and excited? Most likely not. At first thought, we do not think of spreadsheets as the beginning of achieving a goal. According to the SMART principle, goals should be measurable. I realized that during my time as a software developer, I found it difficult to set measurable goals. I would always think to myself: How do I measure this if the architecture I created is already good? How can I quantify whether my code was easy to maintain and extend, so I know how much better it gets over time?
As a Project Manager this is no longer the case – you are surrounded by precise numbers, relentless dates, and unswerving percentages. You know what are the costs, you know the ROI (return of investment) and plenty of other metrics. You are able to compare this to the rules in sports where you know your scores and all the statistics. The environment is perfect for setting and reaching measurable goals and endless opportunities to adapt and perform better.
Quick throwback to the spreadsheets. Can you see all the available opportunities now?
Watching people grow
Being a Project Manager, just like any other manager, gives you the opportunity to work with many people. Some may see this as one of the most difficult aspects within the Project Manager role. But it is important to keep in mind, that in this role you have the chance to create an open communication and bring your team together in order to be more efficient. A manager also has the opportunity to help individuals grow and develop from the very beginning of a project till its very end. Knowing you had a hand in someone’s development is very gratifying.
There are plenty of them. During the execution of every project, regardless of internal or external factors, a lot of unexpected things can happen.
You need to adapt and react quickly to be most efficient at change and risk management. Not only that, but also today’s solutions are the beginning of tomorrow’s problems. This can perhaps be a pessimistic way to see things, but there is a grain of truth in it. There will always be challenges to overcome. The beauty is that after achieving any milestone, you can take a look back from the top of that mountain. From that peak, you will be able to see this steep and bumpy road, all the past iterations and realize that these were the things that you and your team have overcome to get to the top. This is truly a great feeling of pride, reward, satisfaction and accomplishment.