Project Management – Not a Recent Phenomenon
Project Management is not a recent phenomenon or profession. Project management has been going on in the modern world for a long period of time and has always warranted unflinching leadership from the helm for the successful completion of every assigned project.
One of the most successful high budget projects of recent times that have impacted nations worldwide on a mass scale is the Cold War. The cold war required armed forces to remain motivated to march across the most unpleasant and unwelcoming conditions and battle biting chill of an unforgiving winter often without food and water to see their mission till the very end of the desired outcome.
A military unit consists of a huge contingent of armed ordinances, military and infantry battalions as well as mobilizing infrastructural support, not to mention animal livestock, if any. Leading such a diverse team to remain focussed on sharing a single vision for a successful cause while under fire and in the most un-favoring and hostile conditions is the outcome of a continuous effort of effective project management skills.
Even in the face of adversity, in times of uncertainty, lack of clarity and understanding, not losing track of the final mission and driving the complete team to the same outcome is deserving of award-winning project management skills.
So, why all the fuss surrounding it now?
In the modern backdrop of life, technology plays the backbone of support for powering all major functions critical to the survival of everyday life. Project Management, as a profession has emerged to such critical importance in the age of technology-driven vision for work. As life becomes easier and comfortable, the technology-enabled functions supporting it in the background become more complex and dynamic. In such an environment the challenges are unseen and errors are unforced and not losing focus of the final goal while solving the small glitches can be unavoidable at times.
Project Managers are the interface between creative and technical input. Project managers are the bridge between the brand team and the delivery center, the lifeline of the entire operations process. Working successfully at all times in such volatile conditions is no less than surviving a battlefront every day.
Like a battlefield, often the work front, especially in a technology-driven perspective, can be extremely hostile with conflicting visions and priorities, uncertain due to lack of clarity and dynamic and complex. It is constantly on the change and with very little scope to predict the future and because of this dynamic nature, the support system is an extremely complex chain of events. One small glitch in any of the entire chain of events can lead to a complete breakdown leading to chaos and loss of productivity.
Project Managers are Leaders
Leadership is an acquired skill and leadership in project management is supported by the four main pillars of success, namely
Project managers are leaders and leaders are not born but created. Leadership is an acquired skill that higher professionals need to develop in order to enhance their chances of succeeding in managerial roles.
This is because only the Project Manager or PM has the complete vision and understanding of the entire project and everyone’s roles in it. The workforce is reliant on that vision to deliver their individual responsibilities to collective strength resulting in a successful outcome.
So a PM needs to be a leader who not only leads from the front but also by example. It is the PM’s crystal clarity on the subject matter supported by an agile mind to spot any problem at its early stages, which the team can rely on, to combine into a winning effort. Leadership is a skill development area for aspiring project managers.
A PM is a treasure trove of experience and working knowledge of practical systems collected over their extensive career. So, in a dynamic and complex environment that is hostile and unpredictable, it is only by virtue of his leadership skills, that a PM can lead the entire team to remain focussed in unfavorable conditions and drive the project to a successful outcome.