Project Manager AMA

Ask Me Anything started out on Reddit and it’s a great way to learn more about others. I’ve read a lot of the different threads and always found it fascinating. I asked on several of my threads and groups and here’s a summary of the questions/answers.

  • What made you want to get into Project Management?
    • I’ve been doing projects since before I knew what they were. I enjoy the structure, planning and support that’s involved in being a Project Manager. It suits my skills and personality too!
  • What’s been your biggest mess up of all?
    • I’ve had a few…! Luckily, I’ve been able to turn it around and learn from it. The worst one for me was an issue discovered too late in the process which caused a lot of rework. It was a pure oversight but I learned from it!
  • Where do you get your motivation to keep on going? A PM is a thankless job
    • I really like the people aspect of projects. I enjoy working with others and being able to be the ‘coach’ to keep everyone together. It’s a lot of fun.
  • How did you get your current job?
    • Via LinkedIn. I saw an advert, researched the company and applied. My first interview should have been an hour but it lasted over 90minutes as we had such a great rapport.
  • What’s important to know if you want to become a Project Manager?
    • You need to be patient and realise that the role is not for everyone. You have to be a great organiser, have fantastic people skills and be able to take a step back rather than get too involved in the details. My biggest asset as a Project Manager is that I can leave the “real work” to my team and lead rather than get bogged down in issue management.
  • Who’s been the biggest influencer for your path as Project Manager?
    • My first boss was the biggest influencer for me. She showed me what Project Management is and more importantly, what a good Project Manager looks like. I base everything of who I am and how I lead from the lessons that she taught me. Luckily, we still keep in touch and share knowledge together!
  • What industry has been the hardest to work in?
    • Each industry has it’s quirks. Accounting was definitely difficult due to the amount of legal regulation that you need to take into consideration. After learning about the different legal practices that we need to consider for a basic product, it made my head spin to see the complexity of it all
  • As a woman, have you ever been descriminated against?
  • Why do you volunteer with the PMI? How did you get involved?
    • I started volunteering as a way to network with my peers and as an opportunity to give back to my profession. It then grew into something more and as I continued to volunteer, I found that I learned so much along the way. Being a volunteer makes me a better Project Manager.
    • I applied on the volunteer portal, uploaded my resume and submitted an application. It was as easy as finding an vacancy where I could add value.
    • I also work on projectmanagement.com and to add content on there, you need to speak to one of the editors. You can find the form here.
  • PMs have a stigma for being workaholics. How do you manage a good work/life balance? Does that apply to you?
    • It’s true! We do. I’m definitely guilty of working longer than I should but I try to keep a good work/life balance by not logging onto my PC at night/during the weekend. I also make time for sport and my relaxation activities. An important thing for me is to be focused on non-work activities to help me achieve this balance.
  • What tools do you use in your projects?
  • What salary does a Project Manager make?
    • Good question! But there’s a big varation depending on country, experience and company. A good guide is the PMI Salary Survey
  • What do you really think of meetings?
    • I think that they have their uses. There’s definitely a time and place for meetings to be able to connect with your team, share knowledge and build your team. I do think that they can be abused and I hate having meetings for the sake of having a meeting! When I’m working in projects, I try to analyse and ask myself:
      • What is the purpose of this meeting?
      • What are we achieving?
      • Does this meeting add value to me and the other participants. If I answer “No” to anything, then I’ll try to reduce or cancel that meeting if possible.

Hopefully this has answered some of your questions and let me know if you have anymore questions.

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