By Megan Strand
When I was first exposed to the basic principles of formal Project Management, I wanted to run screaming. Well, actually, I should clarify. It was really when I purchased and opened the “bible” of formal Project Management, the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), that this urge to flee came over me. The PMBOK (pronounced PIM-bock) starts out simply enough, “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” and then quickly takes a 180 degree turn into the world of overwhelm and mind-numbing tedium.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m a person who loves my projects. I mean, I really, really love my projects. Mention something that even remotely smells like a project to be managed, I’m taking a giant step forward to volunteer. My entire professional career I’ve spent managing some type of project or another. I think it goes back to the definition of a project – “a temporary endeavor”, and back to my passion about creativity. Because there is a defined start and end with parameters to delineate the desired outcome, I’m free to be creative about how that outcome is accomplished. I love putting all the pieces together in just the right place to complete that puzzle in the end. And, quite frankly, I love that there is an end. I need that sense of completion and closure so I can move on to my next puzzle.
So when I first opened the PMBOK, I was incredibly disappointed and confused. How could this book, this book about projects be so…so…boring?
Again, it goes back to the parameters. Whereas I enjoy working within general parameters, the “science” of Project Management was developed to put a heck of a lot more infrastructure underneath those general parameters. They call them “processes”. And there are many, many, many of them. Processes to explain how to do a process.
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