If a project manager goes to the doctor..

One day a project manager(you) go to the doctor’s office.

Your doctor asks: “How are you doing?”

You say: “Good! Fine! Everything’s just fine.”

The reality: Your project has been in rough weather recently and you are feeling miserable. The longer you don’t acknowledge a problem to yourself,  and share it with others, the longer you will feel bad. Don’t suffer in silence, try to say exactly what you are thinking and experiencing even if you cannot find the right words.


Your doctor asks: “Do you smoke?”

You say: “Not really. Maybe once in a while, just for fun though.”

The reality: You puff at least once a day, and are around smokers all the time. Hmm, you don’t want to hear another lecture on why smoking is bad, but imagine the risk you are taking. And did you tell your doctor that because of this rough weather on your project you are now smoking two a day. Or that you choose to stick your head into email all day hoping that your project budget issue will vanish by itself.


Your doctor asks: “What’s new in your life?”

You say: “Not much. Same old, same old.”

The reality: You were recently passed over for that promotion to program manager and you are feeling terrible. You have been working round the clock for the last four months, only to not get that promotion. Work related stress is the root cause of many health related problems, don’t let your projects get to you. 


Your doctor asks: “Do you take any medications?”

You say: “None”, or “Oh, just birth control.”

The reality: You take multivitamins, fish oil tablets, supplements, all sorts of vitamin pills. People sometimes feel that their “conventional doctor” may not get it. But full disclosure can help the doctor diagnose a problem very effectively. Did you ever ask your developer, ” What’s the problem,” and they go into this lengthy explanation about what they are doing to fix it, but never get to telling you what the problem was in the first place, because he thinks, what does a pm know about Java?. Same deal here, if you don’t objectively disclose your symptoms and activities, it’s hard to diagnose.


The Rx.

1. Take a few minutes to reflect on your projects every week.

2. Take specific stock of yourself, your feelings and your emotions.

3. Jot down your top three project priorities.

4. Talk to a buddy, speaking about your problems brings clarity.

Good luck, your project might just survive.

About Samir Penkar

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