To the project managers…
When you took your first project you didn’t expect it to be dominated by governance, process and controls.
You didn’t expect so much time spent on status reports, risk logs and plans.
But don’t let that define you.
I know that’s not who you are.
You’re not the pen pushers
The form fillers
Or the bureaucrats.
You’re the leaders,
The decision makers,
And most of all,
You’re the problem solvers.
Every day you’re finding solutions.
Dealing with scarce resources.
Finding and fixing bugs.
Racing against the clock.
You’re the one the organisations turn to for solutions
Whenever they want to achieve the impossible.
And yes, you struggle.
You face resistance at every turn.
You carry the burden home with you.
You live and breathe the project
Like an obsession until it’s done.
And when it’s over, you don’t wait for plaudits.
You don’t wait for a pat on the back.
And you expect no bonus.
Because you’re already thinking about the next project.
And besides you’re too busy changing the world.
Didn’t you notice that?
Every small change and every mega project
Is making the world measurably better.
Don’t believe me?
I never imagined when I started that
That my bit part, my small changes would help so many people.
I’m no banker
But I helped turn a bad bank into a good bank.
I’m no doctor
But I improved a medical service with 5 million annual users.
I’m no economist
But I helped change the way we use money itself.
So project managers, look again at your projects
Current and historical.
Look again at those benefits.
Every efficiency is giving people their time back
Every saving is reducing a burden on customers
Every regulatory change is saving jobs.
Every enhancement is a better outcome for people.
Every change you have made has improved the world.
So don’t get down, whenever some supposed leader tells you to “just fucking do it”
Because you’ve been doing it for years!
You are driving the changes that will reshape the world.
Don’t you dare think less of yourself than that.
Whilst the politicians are selling hope and fear
Whilst the CEOs are promising profits and growth
And the challenges of disease, conflict, and the climate urgently need answers.
Our leaders all know they will need to turn their pledges, manifestos and mission statements into real world solutions.
And they will need you and your skills
To build the world of the future.
And whilst the big changes are delivered
the world needs to keep turning,
Need the small changes, the little innovations
That get them home, improve their jobs,
Keep them safe, and make life a little nicer.
So, yeah, keep learning
Keep changing the world
In other words
Just fucking do it!