Every project manager wants to manage his or her projects successfully, and they are well able to do so; they are well-educated, have vast range of experiences and have had numerous opportunities to apply their experience to different projects in a number of industry sectors. They attend trainings, take exams and attain certifications. But they are loners, they feel abandoned, bossed around and thwarted. They are frustrated, and understandably so. Let us look at why it seems to be the fate of project managers to be but a lonesome voice in the wilderness.
Lack of corporate project culture as well as certain boundary conditions are two main reasons. Project managers do not belong to a department comprising all the project managers. On the contrary, they are the specialists for special tasks, for especially challenging challenges no one has time for in daily business. Boundary conditions in projects often include a shortage in resources and money. The result: frustration and a feeling of abandonment. A project manager often is caught between two stools. He wants to be successful in his work but is faced with a management unaware of the rules that apply to project work. He is supposed to lead a team but has no managerial authority. He is responsible but without decision-making authority.
These inadequacies can be very frustrating. Unclear task assignment and non-existence of corporate project culture only add to the danger of project managers becoming isolated and demotivated loners. What is missing is a contact person, someone to enter into an exchange with about one’s experiences. But there is something every project manager can do to escape this. If there is no one to turn to in his organization one can look further, to a community outside one’s usual sphere of influence.
- Internet forums provide a means of entering in to an exchange with experts, with quick support and transparent solutions.
- Groups of regulars can be joined regionally. Benefits include an exchange without a fixed agenda and an informal knowledge transfer.
- A so-called Buddy, an expert whose advice is valued and trusted by the project manager may also be of great help in difficult situations.
- Lastly, a so-called Brainstrust, a community of experts with different fields of expertise but equal goals often leads to viable solutions by conducting regular meetings.
We at COPARGO also wanted to find ways to enable highly-motivated project managers to effect changes collaboratively. This is why we created the 1. COPARGO Community Day which took place in October in Mainz, Germany. All I can say is: Wow! This event was anything but boring, “chalk-and-talk” and Power Point. Exciting keynotes and workshops alternated with barcamp slots and a new form of networking. In this new concept of inspired networking the participants knew beforehand who would be interesting to talk to. Nobody was forced to mingle, No one froze to the buffet and was stuck with an office bore. Fruitful exchange was guaranteed. This inspired us to create the Beweger-Community, the Alliance of Movers, giving project managers the chance of entering into mutual exchange and also offering access to exclusive tools and content. The aim is to provide a platform to answer all questions related to projects and processes. No more loners – instead, let us build a team of teamplayers in constant exchange with each other, offering creative solutions in order to be better at our job, every day.
If you have ideas or comments on our new Community of Movers, feel free to join us!