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Do You Project Manage Thanksgiving?
By Project Manage This

It would be interesting to know how many PM types walk away from the office and immediately take over the planning and coordination that comes with Thanksgiving (insert other holiday if your outside of the US). Gut feeling is that it’s quite a few.

It’s our nature to organize & coordinate – why would we stop when a holiday hits? Bets on that several readers will reply “um, yeah, ok, I admit it, I do that,” to at minimum one of these, maybe more:

  • Holiday recipes are no problem. You have neatly stored all your favorites in a binder, word document, excel sheet or maybe you have a full blown database. You may even have notes or ratings added to streamline your planning.
  • You’re the one that emails everyone in the family, plus calls Auntie Bee (since that’s the extent of her technological capabilities), to make sure everyone knows the where and when. You follow-up too.

  • Even if you’re not the one coordinating, you’re still the one everyone seems to contact with questions – they know that you’ll know what the plan is, you always do.

  • Your grocery list is categorized by produce, bulk foods, dairy, meat and canned goods. Not an item is missed.

  • Your meat and cheese platter isn’t only lovely, it’s organized from mildest to strongest, with the correct balance of crackers on the side.

  • The dining table is set in advance, silver fully polished, and room for one more to join just in case. Contingency plans are important, as we all know.

  • If the meal is a group effort, you have determined which tasks are assigned to which family members based on their capabilities and your years of experience with them. Plus they didn’t even realize you assigned them tasks – they thought they volunteered.

  • If you’re in charge of the meal you’ve planned out what get’s prepped when, in what order and what time to start cooking each dish. There may even be a Gantt chart involved. Your timing is impeccable. The meal is served, the team and the stakeholders are happy, and the only thing anyone has to worry about is enjoying each others company and being thankful.

Your family may not shower you with the praise you deserve; they’ve grown accustomed to your efforts and maybe take it a bit for granted. But, you don’t mind one bit – as is your nature, it’s not about you. Your successfully executed plan was on time, on budget and exceeded expectations. Nice job PMs!

Project managers, program managers, producers, account managers, coordinators, and the like. The unsung heroes. We’re the ones that keep things moving and get it done on time and on budget. We keep our teams motivated and on track, make sure our boss and/or client is happy, and ensure that the community we’re building for get the best product possible. You never see us sweat, rarely hear us swear, and are amazed at how calm we are when fires erupt. That’s because we’re good at what we do.

We absolutely love our job. Making things happen, getting things done, that’s our nature. We never ever vent at work. Ok, rarely do. But we do have tales to tell. “Project Manage This” is a place for PM types to love and hate the career we’ve chosen.

If you have a tale to tell tweet @pmthis

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