You and your spouse have finally built the house of your dreams. After months of anticipation, moving day finally arrives. Early that morning, you are awakened by a dreadful thought: who is going to manage this move? You wonder only because you just finished a week-long seminar on project management the day before.
It turns out that moving to a new house is a lot like those projects your company embarks on every now and again. And you know how some of those work projects have fallen apart at the hands of poor leadership. You don’t want your move to go the same way. Unfortunately, you cannot hire the Janiko Group – a Georgia-based project management as a service (PMaaS) provider – to handle the move. They don’t do residential house moves.
You are lost in thought when the alarm suddenly goes off. It’s time to get up and get at it. You and your spouse are just going to have to go with the flow. Hopefully the kids won’t be too much trouble. And hopefully, somebody will step up and take the lead.
Project Managers Manage
If someone had told you a week ago that project managers manage, you would have thanked him for playing the part of Captain Obvious. But after taking that seminar, you understand the subtleties of such a statement. Project managers are tasked with giving direction. Their job is to keep everything together and moving in the right direction.
Is that your role over the next 12 to 18 hours? Are you the one who is going to keep the move on track, or is your spouse better suited? You don’t know. The one thing the seminar didn’t cover is how to choose the best project manager for the job.
Project Coordinators Coordinate
Another Captain Obvious statement that would have rolled off your back a week ago is that project coordinators coordinate. But now you know just what that means. Coordinators are the administrators. They take the manager’s broad vision and implement it by ensuring all the little things get done. Maybe that’s your role in this move. Perhaps you are a better administrator than manager.
You ponder these things on your way to the truck rental place. You stop for a coffee at the drive-through, hoping a shot of caffeine will clear your mind. It doesn’t. You pick up the truck, drive it home, and start loading. Yet you still don’t know if you are the project manager, project coordinator, or just some lackey whose only role is to carry boxes.
It All Works out in the End
Sixteen hours later you are so exhausted you can barely pick up a slice of pizza. But at least the move is done. At least you got everything to the new house and returned the truck before they charged you another day’s rental. Now you are going to enjoy a hot meal and the pleasure of resting your bones on a stack of boxes.
It turns out you never did answer your project manager question. But does it really matter? After all, it all worked out in the end. You finally conclude that maybe the whole project management thing is blown out of proportion. But what do you know? You are just a guy who carries boxes.
What’s the moral of this story? While project management is important, sometimes we overthink it. We get so obsessed about making sure every detail is just right that we make things harder on ourselves. Sometimes the best projects are those that require the least amount of management and coordination.