Kevin and I are now co-workers.
After many years of working on large high-profile projects, coordinating, managing, deadlines, meetings, workshops, workplans, herding cats and dogs, I finally decided to take time and reflect on what worked and what didn't for projects and people.
There are hundreds of blogs, websites, forums, etc. on Project Management and Corporate Culture. However, all seem to have organizational lists for steps and tips or snazzy charts and spreadsheets. Although these are very important, there is also a great human factor, or feline factor coming from the feminine, that make projects successful. Now, Kevin is obviously a guy, but he is a cat. Oddly enough, as I began to hang with my new co-worker, I realized what we had in common. Kevin only likes attention when he wants it. Check. Kevin likes to be clean. Check. Kevin is picky about what he eats. Check. Kevin is independent and calculated. Check. Kevin looks for opportunities that no one has looked for. Check. Kevin likes his routine, but can change it-up when he needs to. Check. Kevin's litterbox looks like a pretty sandbox with all kinds of potential after it has been cleaned. However, after a few short hours, crap starts to build-up underneath and makes the pretty sandbox stink. Then it becomes a litterbox. Definitely, check. As I continued down the list, it seems Kevin and I could probably get some serious work done.
It is a bold, unscientific statement to say that women are like cats and men are like dogs, but there really could be some merit in the generalization. It would be one way to explore the masculine and feminine personalities of people which contribute to how the project team functions. There are other factors about people, the main ones, ego, trust, fear, anger, and failure that can compromise our happiness and thus the project. Time. As projects are possibly four or fifth dimensional, the element of time is a factor in the work-life balance or imbalance. Time could actually be the governing ethereal master we all serve.
This work that Kevin and I will be doing, although if he starts to sleep most of day and this could end-up a one-woman-show, another excellent topic on the imbalance of project teams, is to present different ways of looking at Project Management and the people who make-up the corporate workforce. We may also delve into a more direct connection between the overall office community and the litterbox although project teams often operate like a mini ecooffice.
We may introduce pictures and quotes, (note the almighty "we" - he and I have to function as a team until a situational change informs us otherwise) and we may have little videos or invite our dog friends to comment.
There are some of us in the workforce who can't sit in the office managers office and tell you how we do things exactly, or why we can get things done, or why we seem to be so emotional. Perhaps Kevin and I will be able to help others understand us.
Fiona Warren - 17 years experience with large high-profile projects and teams.