IPMA International Project Management Association
31 January 2018 / 8:21

Your Project Needs You!

With his first book titled “Kafka, Pulp Fiction, Beer and Projects” he already made me smile and in my blogpost and I summarized it “neither boring theory, nor methodology is in the focus, rather the perspective of living for and working in projects.” And now: “Your Project Needs You”, written by John Chapman. It was the military calling people to arms through this kind of posters. Does it work the same for projects? At least it could be perceived like that. In his introduction John Chapman writes: “Projects can be a battle at times. There are finite resources available, multiple projects running at the same time with varying priorities, and business as usual constraints… the project manager needs to go out and cajole, encourage, motivate, flatter, coax, persuade and sweet talk the team to make progress.” With bits and pieces of stories out of real project life, John combines various topics and a simple and creative set of examples. He portraits the many aspects of the difficult life of a project manager, including but not limited to aspects of leadership, communications and culture in the context of projects.

Do you like one example? “Project Managers are Anarchists & Punk Rockers… Projects encourage freethought. The open sharing of ideas. Design work brings together disparate views. Conclusions are based on reasoning out sound argument, observing events and logical analysis… Project management involves the questioning of authority, the use of dictatorial approaches is a failing from leaders… Project management covers the entire spectrum of organizational politics. They encourage individual freedoms and questioning of the establishment. Activities consist of direct action against the current situation, pursuit of an objective and not selling out.”

The stories are emotional, they reflect what´s happening around us in a dynamic and complex project world. Somebody needs to write those stories to make us think and help our projects to succeed. Thanks John for another interesting piece of stories…

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.

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