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Project Management Style: Herding Cats Your Way.

Project Management Style:  Herding Cats Your Way.

It is said that sometimes being a project manager is like herding cats.  Everyone has a different skill set and more importantly their own personality.  Your job as a project manager is to get all of those personalities to utilize their unique skills in a unified manner and then deliver value to the business.  The trick is to enjoy your job while you accomplish this goal.  I have found that I enjoy my job as a project manager when I can herd the cats in a way that fits my style.

I believe that there are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to project management style:

Strict Cat Herder

This project management style emphasizes processes and the importance of going by the book.  PMI, Prince2 or some other defined project methodology is followed strictly without any variation.  Additionally, very regimented processes as defined by the corporation they currently work for, is strictly enforced.

Cowboy Cat Herder

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the type of PM who does whatever it takes to get the job done, regardless of processes.  I have often referred to this type of PM as a cowboy because of their Git-R-Done attitude.

Be yourself

I like to think that I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  I believe in Gitting-R-Done while following practical processes.  When processes allow the team to be more efficient and predictable in delivering the project, they should be followed.  When processes just get in the way and cause confusion and overhead, they should be evaluated and either modified or removed from the project all together.

I believe that the most important aspect of the project is the people on the team.  Teamwork is essential to the success of the project.  As the project manager, I like to get to know each team member to understand their skills and personality.  I then work with the team as a whole to orchestrate the most efficient and effective team possible.  I help the team rally behind the vision of the project and foster enthusiasm in delivering value to the business.

I encourage everyone to find their own project management style.  Finding your own style will help define you as a project manager, allowing you to excel in your projects.  Then you will then be able to herd cats your way.

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