Project Management – Accountable to Working Smart
Project management, Accountable, Work Smart. I woke up this morning, with one of those ah-ha moments, where your brain has been chewing on something while you sleep, and you get to review the results when you awake. And for me those three pieces of the puzzle all came together in a simple, nimble gestalt.
Here’s how the pieces go together for me, in 4 simple statements:
1. Project management is nothing more than being accountable to work smart.
2. Working Smart is working in a way that’s accountable and respectful to people and the Outcome.
3. Management’s biggest challenge is holding others accountable to work smart. (Biggest failure is more accurate)
4. The biggest frustrations at work come from working with people who aren’t accountable to or respectful of persons, or being subjected to work processes that don’t add value to the process of reaching the Outcome.
Think about that first phrase and let me know your reactions. Here’s a couple of ways it gets worded in my brain.
Project planning, updates, planning the work and working the plan, focusing on priorities, coordinating with others, collaborating with others, being sensitive to time and dollars and quality… they’re all just characteristics of working smart and being accountable to people and the Outcome.
How about dealing with stakeholders or resource allocation? It’s all part of being accountable to and respectful of people and their time and needs.
How about using technology or setting priorities, or managing time? It’s all part of being accountable to the Outcome. Accountable to use the best tools and prioritize your resources to reach the outcomes that are most important. You only need to plan if it helps you reach the outcome. You only need to estimate time and report on progress if it helps you and other’s deliver on time, within budget and at the quality level needed.
Project management boils down to a single concept for me… accountably working smart. And working smart reduces to a “head’s up” manner of working that is sensitive to people and the Outcome, and making the adjustments to reach both within your time and resources.