My current work lives here: Oddball Empire - Rock on.
Change is the norm. Change is happening fast. The projects you are managing are not your daddy’s projects. To be able to handle the ever morphing environment, you need to become agile, flexible as you have never been before. “”If you are talking about “agile project managers”, this would be the key aspect of my definition. A project manager that has a lot of mental models about projects available, and can adopt his mindset according the situation without problems, is what I call a true “agile” PM.” I wrote previously.
Photography by Angela7Dreams.
To cope with the environment you need a brain that can use many mental models to look at reality. You need to be able to throw away your pre-programmed belief and adopt a different mindset in the blink of an eye.
The first part of becoming a flexible Project Manager therefor starts within the comfort of your own head. In this post I will outline the three steps that should guide your journey. In the next period each step will be explained in more detail.
These steps are similar to Emotional Intelligence, however in this context it mostly relates to the actions you perform with the project.
The first step is to become aware of why you do what you do. Do you perform tasks because you are expected to do so, or do they really solve a problem or mitigate a risk? Are you aware of why you have organized the project in a certain way? Do you know the benefits and drawbacks of every procedure you installed in your team?
After becoming self-aware you can start guessing why others are doing what they are doing. First you guess, later you ask. This is the same process to become self-aware, only this time you adopt different assumptions, take on a believe system that is not your own.
If you are used to run a country and you have a communist background, you probably are trying to regulate, centralize and formalize as much as possible. You want to control every individual behavior in order to control the whole system. When you are raised with a more laissez-faire world view, you can adopt a reign that is totally governed by the free market. Nothing is centrally controlled, everything will take care of itself. If you run one country, to become more emphatic, you will use the other mindset for a while.
Free at last. Free at last.
In this final stage you are able to use all kind of mental models. You are aware of what triggers what. You can mix and match from different world views. You use an Agile planing within a Prince 2 organization. And you know why you use it! You get to know how to look at dynamic-complexity without getting into a spasm. You come up with all new kind of weird mental models (like a Fish Pond – eek).
This is the step where I get my little brass gong out again… You are one! Ahum!