(image by me)
Project is one of the main form of today’s collaboration. I guess almost everyone has been participating at least in one project, at work or as a volunteer. Projects are fascinating because they have a powerful creative element as well as a great team feeling. Generally people like to be involved in projects, although there might be 1000 underwater stones and problems.
I have been working on projects of all kinds since 10 years, and I turned to be a good project manager mainly because I knew whom and how to involve. Over these years I have experienced and realised quite a number of things regarding working in projects and I thought of sharing some thoughts with you here.
The biggest secret about a project is that it is NOT about achieving a result, although people totally fall into the trap of this illusion. Obviously any project starts in order to bring some change into life, to improve something or just to create a joyful happening… Whatever it is, try to keep in mind that it is not the aim of the whole thing. But that is really the biggest trick about it all: project participants concentrate on “doing” and often start “hating” each other because obviously everyone has a different working style and when the deadline burns, the nervousness grows… So if achieving the project goal is not the real aim, then what is the goal you may ask me?
Yes, the real aim (again, this is my personal experience based conclusion) – is to learn how to lovingly collaborate with each other, to grow together in overcoming difficulties, to develop the collective body and simply – to evolve in it. When the project is over, people are of cause happy about the results (which are mostly successful), but they are even more happy about having worked and learned with each other!! That is a big surprise at the end, but unfortunately it is something that becomes easily forgotten when a new project starts and again the pressure of achieving some goal makes everyone angry.
So if you know what the real aim is, it is much easier to work stress-free and be more attentive to people, because it is finally people who do the work.
Another useful trick is to have a good attention. I wrote about it already here. Luckily I can literary feel my attention (cool breeze coming out of the top of my head) and when I feel it, I get the right idea, meet the right person, just do the right thing at the right time. This can become extremely efficient in a situation when things have to be done fast and free of mistake. It works miraculously.
Let me tell you one story. OnceI had to find a person to do an important project job – I had to find this person in a crowd of 2.000 people. I was given a name and said that it was an Indian wearing glasses. This was an international gathering with many Indians present. I just put my attention on it (following the cool breeze on my head) and started moving in the crowd. Then at some point I sat down by some people without looking at them properly. And it was rather dark already. I thought I just meditate a bit here. When I opend my eyes I saw a man next to me and just thought – this one might be the person I am looking for….”Excuse me, ain’t you Mr.Chavan?” -I asked. “Yes, I am, how do you know?” – it appeared to the person I was meant to find among 2.000 people! Someone told me afterwards that this was a good example of a sharp attention. And such things happen to me very often. Very useful took for working indeed :).
I project seem to be a short sketch of our whole life: the way we manage projects is the way manage our life. And the question is – do we try to succeed in achieving some material results or to enjoy our evolution? I prefer the second. And interestingly I get excellent material results too 🙂