Project management exists in some form in every organization and in our own personal lives. Everyone, including children in all grades of school, has managed a project. Most of the things we use everyday are the result of a project. When a project is completed and the objectives have been achieved, there is usually a feeling of accomplishment and pride. That sense of accomplishment often drives the desire to begin another project even though there may have been many challenges to overcome before the project was completed. The skills and talent needed to overcome those challenges is what differentiates the project manager from other positions. International Project Management Day focuses on the unique capabilities of project and program managers. It is not a celebration. The day is about recognition and acknowledgement. I am participating in several “Linked-In” discussion groups and a few have included discussions about the project manager role. I asked the question “how would your child describe the work of a project manager. One response in the discussion described how a project manager’s daughter, when asked to tell her class about the work her father did responded by saying “he sits at home all day playing with his computer.” This sounds amusing but the response helps to emphasize why International PM Day was created. I think it is important for project managers to provide information about their work to friends and family. The project manager position is quite challenging and is very often misunderstood. Taking the time the recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the project managers around the world will help others gain a deeper appreciation about the many functions a project manager performs and why the project manager is an essential part of any organizational team.
We are many months from International PM Day but now is the time to start thinking about planning an event. We are seeing steadily increasing interest in IPM day each year but we have much more work to do to reach the millions of project managers who make a difference everyday within tier organizations. By planning an event and posting the information on the IPM Day website you will become part of the growing effort to show just how indispensible the project manager is to every business.
We are also seeking ideas that will help us connect the worldwide project management community together on IPM day. We need something that everyone around the world will notice and something that will truly demonstrate the value of the professional project manager. Join the IPM day team, share your ideas, and work with your colleagues in project management to show that project managers can and do make a difference.
Children and Project Management
One area of interest for IPM day 2012 is Children and Project Management. We think it’s important to encourage the teaching of project management skills and techniques to children in grade schools and also in high schools. The skills learned as part of a project management training program will become life skills and these skills can make a significant and positive difference in a child’s future. If you are aware of a program that is actively involved in teaching children about project management please share information about your programs by sending us a brief description. The PMI Educational Foundation has been developing and offering programs for young people and has been very successful. We’d like to hear about other programs and possibly create opportunities to develop some very meaningful collaborative efforts.