Project Practitioners > Let's start them young! (Great PMs and team members)

Let's start them young! (Great PMs and team members)

By Cinda Voegtli

Quick post on a gratifying PM education moment this week.   One thing I've found fun about having a kid is the opportunity to teach some important lessons way before they hit the real work world.  This week I needed to do a quick sewing project for my daughter's class.  As usual, by the time we got around to it, time was short and we were having trouble figuring out when to do it - a time that both of us could be available to collaborate all the way through.  It didn't happen.

So, I ended up doing it very early in the morning while she was sleeping.  The great moment came when I got to say, "See, I could do it while you slept, and not have a major incident when you woke up and saw the result, because you and I agreed upon objectives and design constraints last night!"   (Which we had done... based on being burned in the past, I had made SURE I understood what this young customer really wanted - size, color, style, and her "critical success factors" around "what will not embarrass me among my friends".)

She of course looked at me like I was crazy at "objectives and design constraints" and rolled her eyes, but I assured her that this was an important aspect of "what matters" when working with other people on projects. She's not familiar with all our lingo, but she gets the drift - because she liked the result and was NOT embarrassed to take it on to school.

To complete the lesson, I unfortunately then had to totally fess up and acknowledge that, on the other hand, it was really awful, totally out-of-bounds risky, for me to wait til the last minute and do this project at 5 a.m. the day it was due!    ("Take that lesson with you too, please, your co-workers will love you one day if you avoid project procrastination!")

That's it - just a fun teaching moment to relay- being able to sneak in key points in practical snippets a "future project team member" can understand even now - to get across what really matters when you're trying to get something done smoothly and successfully.    


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