What does project management mean to me – a Project Manager’s sermonPosted: 25/09/2013
By Ugo Micoli
I have a friend, his name is P.M.
I call him like that, because Project Management is too long. In my address book I wrote “P.M.” and I know the meaning.
We met when I was very young, I don’t remember where. He was a sly and a well organized guy. On my part I was fascinated by how toys were functioning, and why. Strangely enough, we made acquaintance but we did not know our names for long. We talked about serious topics such as history, different peoples and countries, how persons act, things for teenagers you know, we were smart students and we liked to read very much. But we liked fun, people, girls, sports, cars, airplanes and spacecrafts as well …
Fun plus seriuosness was the trademark of our friendship.
I remember when I had to decide my path in the future. I liked many things and I was very doubtful. He said: “Hey, Ugo. Remember that your Scope is the most important thing. Set your objectives, then organize. And, given the scope, always people first! You will find the right procedures.”
Thinking about it, he was a wise guy.
When I decided to became an Aerospace Engineer, he come to university with me. While studying, he helped me to create a think tank about how people interact in science and technology, the importance of teamwork. It was our first business together.
I loved the fact that, in ancient Greek, the word τέχνη (téchne) means art.
He was enthusiastic about Aristotle. We talked often, in the spare time after studies and some fun and work, about the so called principle of no-contradiction, or the importance of roles and authority by competence. He said that philosopher was his ancestor.
One day he decided, I don’t know why, to tell me his name. I remember very clearly. We were attending a lesson about aerospace projects.
And then he introduced some relatives as well. I remember a guy, called PERT. I thought he was absurd. He took the critical path very easily, you know.
But I felt comfortable with those people. We started to collaborate soon. I fell in love with a blonde, her surname in the gang was WBS. Well structured… if you know what I mean. And in control of every possible breakdown, not the hysterical doll type…
I did strange works as students do, I got my Masters’ Degree, had various experiences and decided to be an independent professional in the end. On my LinkedIn profile you can see the details of my story, but you can see I worked with P.M. soon as well, in many successful initiatives we built.
And anyway, always “people first!”.
My friendship with P.M. was a datum in my life and I must say that in many occasions he got me out of serious troubles.
There are times when I help him too, because he is the kind of role model and today everybody wants to be him or pretend to know him. Someone says he will save the world and asks him to certificate they are clever guys.
Someone, instead, says he is old, we are in the complexity era and all is relative and goals are found along the way and so on.
We laugh at these things. There are nights when we ponder on everything we shared in the past and make projects for the future. We have no regrets. But many goals to accomplish. Our fellowship can’t be broken.
So, what is the moral of the story?
Discover it by yourselves, my friends. But because you are my friends, you are friends with P.M. as well.
Remember, when you close this page, do not think friendships are cheap. Take care of them, there is always something to learn, and you will be rewarded.
As far I’m concerned, there are times when I see my friend’s face, recently, and I am confused. He looks like me, in the mirror.
P.S. This post is published as part of a first ever project management related global blogging initiative to publish a post on a common theme at exactly the same time. Seventy Six (76!) bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA have committed to make a blogging contribution and the fruit of their labor is now (literally NOW) available all over the web. The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please go and check them out!
Update: there is a follow-up! Go to next article…