Herding Cats

I find project managers are somewhat like cat herders.  They are trying to convince people who have competing priorities, egos, abilities, work styles, etc.; to pull together and do something for organizational good.

So how does one herd cats? Catnip, cheese, mice, and whatever else works. Not all cats are attracted to or driven by catnip. So how does this apply to people and your project? All the people working on your project are different and need to be treated thusly. You can’t succeed (at least not easily) if you treat them all the same.

You as the project manager must be fluid and adaptable. You must have many tools in your bag, the most important being good people skills. Joe likes not to be talked to for the first hour of his day, not even a good morning, so scheduling a project meeting with him before them…well you will not get his best. You may even get his worst.

Jill and Jim want to hear you say good morning and listen to what is going in their life—make time at the beginning, put it in the agenda as to limit the time for this. The bottom line is your project rests on people, they are not machines. Treat them well and they will perform.

I found this article interesting:  Share ‘Project Manager Challenge: Influencing in Lieu of Oompa-Loompas’

What do you think? How do you describe project people management?