What does a PM actually do?

Nov 2, 2008 |
The last week was crazy, we had a deliverable for a project and days seemed much longer than usual. The deadline meant, more quality assurance, last minute check lists and keeping the team calmer.

I have found my strengths in the last few months and had some tough time with my weaknesses. To have any sucessful project , team handling is required. As easy it may sound, it was more than tough. A team has different kinds of people (read personality) which is great, but here's what I found-

Group A- Team players, who are more likely to like the people they work with and have affinity for their job. Easier for the PM to handle. They abide by the rules and have a clear vision, polite and professional in most cases- they are a PM's dream come true of a perfect team.

Group B- The loners, they like working on their own and having control. A nightmare to handle and if they have the added syndrome which says- if you are not a developer (or hard core technical), what do you do actually. You can loose some sleep over it, its hard trying to get the person understand, because he/she doesnt want to understand.

I personally think, its a common problem and just because I don't code and not in my 40's (or 30's) and I'm a woman doesnt mean I am stupid. I make mistakes, learn and grow with them and treat people with lot of respect and not merely resources who have a list of deliverables to follow. I think its basically hard for people to understand what a PM is about and why the person is in charge?

I had my share of bad days. When the Group B person likes the idea of the project being organized and easy to work and yet will not thank you for anything. Instead, it's the almighty mood that has the drivers seat. Very hard to work with. I had my days, when a 5 minute meeting ended up with me taking another 15 minutes pacing up and down; so that I could stay cool and not loose my temper. Who says being a PM is easy?

I have had people telling me; its wonderful that you want to become a PM because the pay's really good and its easy- after all its the team that does the work. Ok, so what am I getting paid for if I am not working? Most people are far behind in understanding what the PM really does and how it helps? May be I didnt understand a lot about it, till I wanted to be one and started working towards it.

It's (being a PM) more work that it shows. So, every PM should perhaps educate a few more about what the person does and why it's important? If you think it's easy, trying being one even if it's just for a day. How about that?

(Picture: Google images)


Anonymous said...

Every PM is going through that ... continuously.
The think I do, is to make sure that I can show the team how I can help them as individuals.
Usually when you meet people that are bragging about how useful they are and how useless you are it's because they are insecure.
You need to help them in their day to day life to earn their respect.
Easiest said than done ;)