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Project Management When “Project” is a Human

Throughout my career in project management, I’ve come across many deadlines, fuckups, and successes. And I’ve come to the conclusion that every project manager needs to be a leader, a facilitator, an advisor and an advocate, and every project needs a specific approach. But all this aside, I’d like to single out one type of a project.

The thing about this type is, the project breaths, walks and manages their own personal life. The project is a human.

It may seem weird but let’s go through it step by step.

First of all, let’s see what it means to manage a project when the project is a human. An example of such a project is working on someone’s personal channel or starting a personal blog. Okay, this part is understandable. But several problems can occur. So, let’s define differences between “breathing” projects and others. In the case of other projects, digital strategists and content managers will create a specific tone of voice, based on which all content will be created. But how about when we’re dealing with a human? We need to take into consideration the fact that a person has their own feelings and moods that can change throughout the process. Imagine the situation: So, what do project managers need to do to manage the process effectively?

The 1st step of human-project management is becoming the closest friend and the strongest pillar of the person you’re managing. You need to do this in order to better understand the person and be able to predict what they’ll do in different situations. For instance, when you need to respond to a controversial comment and feedback managers are stuck because the case isn’t covered in the tone of voice, the so-called “friendship” can be a huge help. The comment is responded to and reputation is managed.

The 2nd step is always reminding your project that they must try to be open to their audience. I know being fully open is hard and there is a thin line between blogging your life and KUWTK but the statistics say that even habits and specific characteristic features can benefit the “project”. Today, online audiences prefer authentic content to well-designed ones.

So, instead of acting, the “hero” should just live their lives in front of the camera and even share their failures and fuck-up stories.

The 3rd and final one is that as a good project manager you must ensure your projects’ safety which in this case is their personality. This may seem contradictory to the previous step, but the project manager should always remember that this is not a reality show… Your team and your tasks should always be working towards advancing the project. And good teamwork is absolutely necessary in order to provide good results.

Last but not least, all the points above are variable because of one simple reason. Your project is a HUMAN and that’s all that matters.

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