I asked MICHAEL SINGER DOBSON, a marketing executive, project management consultant and nationally-known speaker; “In all your experiences, is there a certain type of individual that manages a project better? To me there always seem that if you get the right guy heading the project, it gets done.”
Michel has been a staff member of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, award-winning game designer, and career counselor in his varied career. My favorite book of Michael’s, out of twenty or so he wrote, is Creative Project Management.
An excerpt from the Podcast and Transcription: Impossible Projects
Michael: Yes, absolutely. But the right guy does vary project to project. There are projects in which say construction, nice classical project. The discipline, I am there’s a lot to be discipline. I don’t mean to trivialize it in any way, shape or form. It’s understood as a discipline. If you want to master it, you can master it. The mind-set is highly organized, forceful and detail oriented. You get somebody running R&D projects in the game business, since I’m familiar with that, what you need is somebody who’s out of the box thinker. The number of tasks and the complexity of tasks are normally not great. All of the brain’s sweat, all of the effort is on that creative side and frankly Microsoft Project does relatively small amounts of good in the environment like that. It’s a very different sort of situation. It is certainly the case that you want the confident right person.
Projects vary so much that the correct answer is different. Who do you need? I mean notice somebody like Steven Spielberg still has a team of staff producers. Kathleen Kennedy, people like that, who can run all the logistics to free him up to do the things that only he can do. If I’m a project management professional in here, yes I can lead the project in the areas in which I am confident but a lot of times the help I can give you is I can help somebody else set up the organizational component for you to get that off your back. It all varies; political skills, forcefulness, persuasive ability, negotiation. I tell people all the time that the best followup for basic class and project management is a class in negotiation. I mean, project managers are basically all blanche du bois; we rely on the kindness of strangers.
By the definition of a project, it’s something outside the normal routine. So, it’s mostly the case that a large part of your team are not people who report to you in some formal standard supervisory sense because the project is of limited duration, it will end and those resources would have to be released to somebody else. In most cases it’s true, if you’ve got a job to do, it’s almost always the case that you cannot possibly get it done without the willing and essentially voluntary cooperation of people over whom you have no direct official power or control and I know you’ve been there to, I’m sure.
Joe: Oh, I’ve always been very convinced. It’s not about having the best idea. It’s about what can get implemented. Not the best idea always can be implemented.
Michael: Absolutely. Politics is very simple. I have a test if you have office politics in the organization. It’s very simply. You do a head count, number exceeds 3; you’ve got it because people do not check their humanity, self-interests of goals at the door when they punched in to go to work. It never has been the case, never will be the case. If you can’t work with that, your effectiveness as project manager is going to be incredibly limited.
Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do
Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Faceboo