I’ve seen adverts for battle-hardened or battled scarred PMs, this being some kind of measure of their resiliency. And yet the times I’ve worked with these individuals I’ve sometimes seen total detachment or a level of helplessness over their work.
I can suffer from the opposite issue – taking on too much personal responsibility for the outcomes of a whole project or programme. Small projects with enough personal empowerment let me guarantee excellent results to the client, but beyond a certain size, this is impossible and remaining identified ultimately leads to anxiety.
Like all things, I think the real solution lies in taking the middle road, rather than total detachment or total responsibility (ignoring single-person projects, of course). This looks something like the following:
- Accepting personal responsibility for those things reasonably in your control
- Acknowledging the success of projects and programmes are greater than one person
- Being OK with the fact that some projects and programmes do fail in one way or another in spite of all personal endeavours from team members
Frank Ray & Associates is a software engineering consultancy that builds high quality software for businesses.