Of course I know Joni Mitchell wasn’t singing about project management in Big Yellow Taxi. I also know that project management isn’t always noticed…until it’s gone. For the past two weeks, it’s been gone and I’m noticing. My colleague, Fran Zablocki, is the project manager for the team I lead at mStoner and he has been on vacation for the past 14 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes. I work hard to notice great performance on my team, always have. Probably comes from many years of human resources management work and years studying leadership and workplace teams. Fran, sorry if I’m embarrassing you, but it’s got to be said:
“Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”
Over the past two weeks, my stomach churned pretty much every time this phrase made its way into an email message: “Susan is Fran this week.” Fran’s absence reminded me about how much project management contributes to:
- Providing exceptional customer service for clients.
- Staying on track with large (and small) deliverables.
- Understanding budgets and timelines and the critical path.
- Managing the details that mean it’s all, frankly, not noticed.
Reason 1 for this post: Thank you, Fran. You are a fantastic PM. We’re glad that both you—and our sanity—will be returning on Monday. And, yes, we will let you take another vacation.
Reason 2 for this post: Respect the practice of project management.
I’ve written about reason two before. I hope my post on the skills needed for project management demonstrates the value I place on the practice. I’m planning to write a series of posts about project management. I began my own experience as a PM about 16 years ago. I hope some of what I learned will be useful to those of you who are just getting started. Stay tuned for the PM series. My next post on project management will cover this topic: “The project manager has to be willing to be the bad guy in the room.”
BTW, if anyone ever suggests adding a project manager to your team, say yes. But you can’t have Fran.