“Within Project Management there are those who jump in and get the work done and those who plan everything.”
While the statement identifies that there are two different approaches to project management – those who jump in and get the work done and those who plan everything – has some validity, it is important to recognize that both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses.
As someone who has grown up working in an environment where I lead through “doing” it was a difficult transition to leading through “planning”. It involves a certain amount of “stand back and let others do” through trusted delegation. Delegation without trust is NOT delegation, that’s Micro-Management.
Below are some of the positives and negatives of each approach:
Positives of those who jump in and get the work done:
- They tend to be action-oriented and can drive progress on the project quickly.
- They are often able to identify and address problems early on in the project.
- They are good at taking initiative and can be effective at motivating the team to achieve results.
Negatives of those who jump in and get the work done:
- They may overlook important details and risks that could cause problems later on.
- They may be more reactive and less strategic in their decision-making.
- They may make decisions too quickly without sufficient input from others, leading to potential conflicts or mistakes.
Positives of those who plan everything:
- They tend to be more strategic and analytical, which can help identify risks and opportunities.
- They are good at developing detailed plans that can help guide the project to success.
- They can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and aligned towards the project objectives.
Negatives of those who plan everything:
- They may spend too much time planning and not enough time executing, causing delays.
- They may become overly focused on process and lose sight of the project goals.
- They may be resistant to change or unable to adapt plans when necessary.
From these positives and negatives, it is clear that the most effective project manager is one who can strike a balance between planning and execution. This means being able to develop a solid plan based on a thorough understanding of the project requirements and risks, while also being able to take action quickly and adjust the plan as needed based on new information or changing circumstances.
When I was told to put down the tools and focus on leading with my brain it took me a while to make the transition. Now, I feel, I have the best of both worlds – that comes from the knowledge of experience.
Ultimately, the most effective project manager is one who has a range of skills and can adapt their approach to fit the needs of the project and the team. Rather than being either a “doer” or a “planner”, the best project manager is one who can switch between these modes as needed, using their experience and expertise to deliver successful projects that meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.
Photo by Octavian Dan on Unsplash