Project Managers are people too, aren’t they?

I noticed earlier this week in a team meeting that it is all too easy to place the role or hat of Project Manager (PM) on someone and that seemed to automatically change the way that they are seen in the broader context by the people around them.

It was really interesting hearing Project Managers (PMs) in that same meeting talk about feeling as though they don’t get any development time once they are in their role, i.e. managing a project. Life gets too busy with them managing the delivery schedule that they don’t get down time. Time to focus on their needs as a person, an employee.

This is really true.  How many project schedules do you see that include a half a day a fortnight/month for the PM to go to training or to work in the stakeholder management space, or to gain mentoring assistance from other PMs or business SMEs?  I would suggest none.

Project sponsors would argue that it isn’t what PMs are paid to do, but my argument is that they are people first and project managers second. People need time to breathe, take stock, catch up, get support and grow their capabilities. DE STRESS.

People with project management skills in the role of a PM rarely get time between projects to go and do training or up-skilling. So when do they get time?

Should a project schedule include a certain percentage of personal development time?

If this isn’t part of the schedule, then when do PM’s get time for development?
Consider that there should be just as many opportunities for these staff, as there are for others to develop and learn more skills.  They should be offered the opportunities, the same as anyone working in a normal role, as their development in the broader scheme of things is just as important.
Written by Karen Munro