Opportunity Management as a Knowledge Area
Never heard of this? What’s opportunity management? What’s it to do with project managers?
Project managers are drilled to manage risks on projects. Some believe the primary job of a project manager is to manage risks. Risk management involves identification of risks, quantitative and qualitative risk assessment, and drawing up plans for risk mitigation. Ask any project manager and you will hear these common risks on projects – availability of resources, schedule is dictated by senior management, missing out on key stakeholders or finding them late, fuzzy cost/benefit defined by customer, sketchy user commitment, managing inter project dependencies and communications breakdown.
Over time project managers become tuned to managing these risks, in fact they become so tuned into risk management, that they shut themselves out from the art of seeing possibility. They become like race horses, focused on the finish line, with blinders on their eyes, preventing them from sensing what else is going on around them.
The teams sense the obsession with the finish line and tag along, always stressed and trying to catch on, get there as soon as you can, seems to be the mantra.
I propose that project managers focus instead on opportunities.
How can we make this better, quicker, faster, enjoyable, wonderful, fabulous, great!
Get into the habit of practicing opportunity management. Look at possibilities and not just constraints, look at what you will learn from projects, not how to just get it done with, pause, stop and talk to your teams. Together discover the opportunities you can work on. At the end of week or month, you can proudly report – “We identified an opportunity to ————-”.
You career, happiness, knowledge enhances when you focus on the opportunities.
If this idea of opportunity management resonated with you, do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org