In project management you have to just do it

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In project management you have to just do it.

The People SIG is planning to build its 2012 calendar around the theme of Resilience, but what does this topic really mean?

Maybe youre struggling to finish a task; a key component hasnt been delivered; or youre meeting your targets but at the cost of working late into the evenings.  Perhaps your project goal is poorly defined and senior management just cant give you the time you need. 

Well maybe youre not cut out to work in PM. 

If you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Youre working in Project Management: the clue is in the name you have to manage.

Personally I think youd be hard pressed to find something more stressful than trying to deliver a unique output within a specified time period, so surely anyone involved in PM is asking for trouble!

How much you stress and what you struggle to cope with depends on you. Two people confronted by the same set of circumstances will react differently and it really will depend on your perspective, but Id suggest that if you dont share your problems and concerns then they stand a strong chance of getting the better of you.

Focus on whats happening right now rather than over analysing the past or trying to predict the future and try to be absolutely clear about your goal.

Resilience is about more than just coping, it is the ability to withstand and to bounce back. 
Time spent learning how to understand your physical and mental reactions, and recognise the signs that you (or someone close to you) is struggling, is time well spent.

The People SIG is starting to develop a calendar of events around this topic and there is a forum thread for you to contribute suggestions as to what the term Resilience means to you.

Does your project or programme organisation have enough support networks in place?

Can you learn to be more resilient, or is it too late?


Posted by Alastair Smart on 29th Feb 2012

About the Author
I'm a full member of the APM and was previously a People SIG committee member. I am also a PMI member and certified PMP, and a Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Practitioner. I have supported MoD Project Teams within the Submarine and Land Equipment Operating Centres, including work to improve project management culture as part of a major change management project; and am currently working in Ottawa supporting the Canadian DND (Maritime Equipment Program Management) organisation.

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