Buscar este blog

9 de mayo de 2012

The Project Manager’s essential body parts

In his bestselling book  The Deadline, Tom DeMarco describes the most important parts of the anatomy of any Project Manager: gut, heart, soul and nose. According to Tom DeMarco, good Project Managers must develop a habit of trusting their gut, leading with the heart, building soul into the organization and last, but not least, to have a nose capable of smelling problems.

  • Trust your gut (follow your natural instinct): You consider someone for a key position and he or she looks fine on paper, but something tells you to keep on looking. That’s something is your gut. And then someone else comes along, and a little voice inside you sings out, “This is the guy!” or “She is the one! Grab her and put her in charge of the whole works and leave her alone”. That’s the gut speaking. The best managers are the ones with the best guts. The key brain function a manager has to master is to learn when to trust her gut.
  • Lead with the heart: It's your heart that people respond to. They don’t follow you because you’re clever or because you’re always right, but because they love you. The heady leader can lead, but people won’t follow. Maybe you have to be born to it.
  • Build soul into the organization: Project prosper to the extent that people learn to work together effectively. If they worked entirely apart, then soul wouldn’t matter. Management would be a simple matter of coordinating their efforts, a mechanical process. Real work requires close, warm, and almost intimate interconnections between team members, and easy, effective, interaction through the whole organization. You don’t make it happen at all. You let it happen. You create an atmosphere where it can happen. An then, if you’re lucky, it does happen. You get them to think about integrity and all the baggage that word carries. It has to be some shared vision that unifies the group. The human creature has a need to be part of a community. An amazing number of today's people don’t even know their neighbors. Community doesn’t come from our towns anymore. But the need for community is still in us. For most of us, the best chance of a community is at work.
  • Develop a nose for bullshit: There are plenty of problems in every project. Preparing the proper response in advance sometimes makes the difference between life and death for a Project Manager. The experienced Project Manager is used to smell the problems from far away.

This text is based on he book:
The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management
by Tom DeMarco
Dorset House Publishing, 1997

Click here to read the Spanish version of this article
Click the label "English" to see the other articles written in English