If you’re a parent, you’ve no doubt wondered at your child’s extensive (or did I mean expensive?) Christmas list each year. Whether it’s a new action figure, the latest video game or something large and plastic, they seem to have such focussed ideas of what they want from life it’s almost enough to make us adults envious. Even if you haven’t got children of your own, recognising the targeted nature of little ones’ hopes and dreams can give us food for thought when it comes to our own lives.
As project managers we can certainly learn something from kids. We might not be that interested in Lego kits or Polly Pocket, but we can certainly have a bit of a wish list when it comes to how our projects work for us. After all, having goals and ambitions is all part of the job, so shouldn’t we focus down on what we really want? Here’s my own ‘wish list’ for you to compare with yours.
- Exciting projects: OK not every project can be the sort of stuff that gets you out of bed with a spring in your step each day, but hopefully at least a few have the right ingredients to keep us motivated.
- Brilliant teamwork: As PM’s, we know we are nothing without an awesome project team behind us, so flawless teamwork is definitely one for the wish list. After all, the less time we spend improving communications and ironing out disputes, the more time we have to deliver outstanding projects.
- Plenty of resources: Walking that precarious tight rope of budget management and resource allocation is tough at the best of times. Wouldn’t it be nice to work on just one project where there were tonnes of resources and all readily available when we needed them?
- Everlasting energy: Most project managers fail to work a standard 40 hour week. In fact many of us have been known to rack up 60 hours or more, particularly when deadlines are looming. In general the sheer adrenaline keeps us bouncing along, even when tired. But just occasionally we wish there was a magic energy boosting potion that could keep us focussed when we are starting to flag. Or is that what coffee is for?
- Flawless project processes: Nothing is more frustrating than wasting time on inefficient and poorly thought out project processes. In an ideal world, all the processes defined on a project would be wonderfully logical, and we could conserve our precious time for more important matters.
- Happy customers: More than anything else, the ultimate wish for any project manager has to be to deliver perfect projects to every customer and to really make people happy. We all strive for flawless service, great value and 100% customer satisfaction, and to achieve this has to be the very pinnacle of any project manager’s wish list.
Of course, just as that child will probably not get everything on their list to Santa, in reality it’s not always possible to achieve everything on our wish lists. But just liked the wide eyed boy on Christmas morning will be delighted with just one of his hoped for gifts appearing under the tree, so we can be thankful when at least one of our wishes comes true. Do share with me your own project management wish lists, and whether any of them have ever come true!