Why do I love project management?

The P in PM is as much about ‘people management’ as it is about ‘project management.’
— Cornelius Fichtner

As a digital project manager, it is my responsibility and my pleasure to guide projects to success with empathy and communication. I promote alignment, create project documentation, remove workflow blockers, improve processes, and keep everyone accountable to their deliverables. Even when we run into complications or unexpected circumstances, I communicate to everyone with the attitude that it is just a deviation from the path and is something we are all equipped to handle together. But in my opinion, the most important parts of my role as a digital project manager are not the ones of managing budget, scope, and timeline.

Project management is a job that requires an astute awareness of people. We must be able to understand non-verbal communication, look beyond immediate reactions, understand the humanity behind our stakeholders’ needs and actions, and connect with them on a human level. We are doing much more than creating schedules and enforcing deadlines. A good project manager is a good people manager.

One of my most important responsibilities is to remember (and to remind others) that the members of my project team are not task robots; they are creative human beings doing their jobs. Humans need encouragement, guidance, affirmation, and context. They need to feel valued and like their work is contributing to something important. They need structure and they need to know how they fit into a larger picture. And that’s where I come in. As a project manager, I am a human who is managing and serving other humans. I let them know the value of their work and how they are helping meet the needs of our clients or stakeholders. I help them to improve their workflows and increase their efficiency. I challenge them to challenge themselves, all for the sake of the project.

It is my job to connect with people as humans. To hear their voices and to create space for their voices when they don’t have it. I listen to my team, our clients, and all of our project stakeholders to determine the most efficient and strategic way to serve our clients' audiences. Because it is always all about the people—the people that I serve and the people our clients serve.

At the end of the day I am confident and proud to say that project managers are doing a heck of a lot more than managing projects.

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