The “Ideal” Project Manager
I read this insightful post on “The Mythical Project Manager” by Samad Aidane from his site Guerilla Project Management, in which he argues that PM education has created and perpetuated an unrealistic criteria for what it takes to be a great PM. I especially like the description from the second paragraph:
Our project management “Education System” has created and still perpetuates the “Mythical Project Manager”. You know the one with the superpowers to control every aspect of the project and deliver every project successfully on budget, on scope, and on time every time. He (or she) is creative yet risk-averse, visionary yet operational, flexible yet structured. He thinks strategically but acts tactically. He achieves long term goals, yet keeps a focus the short term ones. He holds a high level view of the company’s strategic direction yet remains detail-oriented. She is effective in all situations and delivers on results not just because of circumstances but despite of them.
I italicized the portion I liked the best. In my view, rather than this description being a “mythical” one, I would argue that it is the “ideal” description. Any PM worth his/her weight would have to strive to balance the strategic and tactical side of his/her role. More importantly, it is balancing being a project leader as well as manager. It’s not an either/or imperative. To be the most effective you have to ideally be both!