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GTD and Project Management

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  • GTD and Project Management

    My husband is thinking about becoming a project manager, as the next step in his career. He thought about going for an electrical engineer degree, but at his age this would take too long to accomplish. He's been reading up on what it takes to be a project manager, and hopes to enroll in an online class "Introduction to Project Management" so to see if this is really for him.

    How does GTD tie in with being a project manager? I checked out the audio version of the GTD book from the library for him to listen to (my husband is a slow reader). Admittedly, I have ulterior motives for trying to get him interested in GTD - there have been incidents recently, which, ahem, could have been avoided if everyone in the household were implementing their own ways of GTD. I thought if I could tie GTD in with project management, I could get GTD to really stick in our family life and keep things running smoothly.

  • #2
    I'm not a project manager, but my understanding is that a project manager is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the entire project. Ultimately if there's nobody on the team to do a certain job, it's his job to do it or find someone else who can.

    I'm sure that he's going to make extensive use of the @Waiting For lists to track outcomes and actions that he's delegated to his project team. He will likely have projects such as "Resolve performance issue with Joe" and actions such as "Call Joe's supervisor re: job performance" when faced with personnel issues like an underperforming team member.

    He'll have different kinds of projects and a lot more delegation than non-management personnel, but the principles of GTD will apply the same to a project manager as much as an entry-level employee.

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    • #3
      I am a project manager with a major merchant-energy generator (i.e., we make and sell electricity). I have to use the GTD system every day especially as, unfortunately, almost no one else in my organization does.

      I deal with people who routinely have hundreds, if not thousands, of e-mail messages in their electronic in-boxes. I can not fathom how they get anything done on time. I get uncomfortable when I have more than 3 messages in my in-box at the end of the day. I also routinely empty my "sent" folder, as well, putting the messages in the relevant electronic folders.

      If I ask someone to chase the answer to a project question, I have to track that action to completion myself; otherwise, I can never be sure that it will ever get done. I used David's Outlook publication to set up Outlook, as my employer will not allow me to install the Outlook add-in software on the corporate system. I am currently dealing with about 7 projects, so I tag each action item with a prefix denoting which project it is associated with.

      When I "ding" someone about a request that has not been responded to, I append my second query to the first one. If I have to ask a third time, I append the third request to the two previous ones. Sooner or later, the recipient gets the message that I might have asked him enough times to deserve a response. Of course, there's always someone who doesn't get the hint. My record was 9 unacknowledged requests. At that point, it was "game over." I just gave up at that point.

      It is unfortunate that you have to act like someone's mother in order to get anything done, but that is what you have to deal with. But the money's good, even if the job satisfaction may be lacking at times.

      The key to success is to keep up with the daily responsibilities of your GTD system (handling it in whatever way works well for you); otherwise, you'll get buried.

      Good luck in the career transition.

      Joe
      Last edited by radioman; 08-26-2009, 02:31 PM.

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      • #4
        Look into the Project Management Institute

        Check out www.pmi.org. The project management institute's focus is on education and advancing project management as the paradigm for managing business. They might be able to help your husband change career tracks quickly. As an engineer and a PMP (Project Management Professional) I can attest that GTD is the way to manage your own affairs and be effective in a project centric world.

        Good luck.

        Mark

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        • #5
          Originally posted by radioman View Post
          When I "ding" someone about a request that has not been responded to, I append my second query to the first one. If I have to ask a third time, I append the third request to the two previous ones. Sooner or later, the recipient gets the message that I might have asked him enough times to deserve a response. Of course, there's always someone who doesn't get the hint. My record was 9 unacknowledged requests. At that point, it was "game over." I just gave up at that point.
          This sounds like my life. Sigh. While my oldest "Next Action" is a few days old, I have months worth of "Waiting fors" that people just don't reply to questions about.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Alchemist View Post
            Check out www.pmi.org. The project management institute's focus is on education and advancing project management as the paradigm for managing business.
            Thanks . . . I've forwarded the website URL to my husband.

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            • #7
              Someone I know is a project manager with no previous training in this specifically (does have a BA though) and just uses a notebook (or a few) to keep track of things, not even GTD or anything.
              It probably depends on the type of position and work to be done there too.

              I'd love to learn more about effective project management myself, possibly in connection to GTD.
              I took a look at pmi.org, it seems more oriented to big businesses though (?)

              Any other helpful resources or ideas?

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              • #8
                HI Lolajl,

                Thank you for your comment.

                If you’re husband is still interested in becoming a project manager I would Project Management Professional (PMP). This is the ideal and most sought after certification as authorised by Project Management Institute. Almost all PM related jobs, activities and other professions would enquire this qualification. PMI configured this comprehensive certification program for project practitioners of all education and skill levels. There are currently five credentials available, rigorously developed, worldwide accredited and easily transferable between borders and industries.

                Regardless of where your husband is in his career, PMI’s PMP is the reliable and conducive certification for your husband. This qualification will enable him to demonstrate his expertise and commitment to the profession he intends to get into. You can find more from PMI’s website resources why PMI’s certifications are the top choice for project practitioners. I work for Firebrand Training providing professional PMI PMP classroom based courses. I’m bit sceptic about how my help to you might be viewed by forum regulators as I have a lot of respect for these kinds of discussions. But to be objective, I think your husband has sparked an interest in a special area which’s highly profitable, exciting and tough at times. These are some of the other certification your husband might consider:-

                • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
                • Program Management Professional (PgMP)®
                • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)®
                • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)®

                Speaking of books that’ll help with you preparation, this book has recommended as one of the best by industry experts,

                • PMP Exam Prep: Rapid Learning to Pass PMI's PMP Exam-On Your First Try! ISBN: 9781932735185

                I also suggest that once you’ve read this book or any other book in your list you first have a go at online practise test which's downloadable at no cost or available at your request. This is one of the best ways to assess what you’ve already learnt without jumping into conclusions or actual training.

                I hope I’ve been of some help. Take care.

                Helga Schiffer
                PMI PMP Expert
                Last edited by helga; 01-26-2011, 10:39 AM. Reason: correction

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