In my search for project management wisdom I came across an interview with Elizabeth Harrin whose blog I read regularly. It is always interesting to see a person speak when you have only previously read their posts. She is the author of the blog ‘A Girls Guide to Project Management’. She is also the author of the book ‘Project Management in the Real World’, which she also discusses in the video. That book was written to help new project manager,who may not have a mentor, to act as a stand in for that missing mentor relationship.
This book was released back in 2007. She now has a new book out, ‘Social Media for Project Managers’ that sounds interesting.
Some of the highlights of the interview are:
1) She started her blog as ‘Project Management for Girls’ because alhtough she knew that there were females in the profession they did not seem to have a voice. There just weren’t that many women project managers speaking about it, attending conferences, or writing about it.
2) Generally she does not see much difference between men and women project managers, with one notable exception. She thinks that women are more likely to be effective at multitasking.
3) The challenges that she has faced in the workplace have not been related to her being female. She does think that you never quite become comfortable with what you do, and if you have you need to stretch yourself.
4) If there is any theme to the advice she gives on her blog it would be around improving professionalism in project management.
5) Her advice to women who are new to project management is to get a small project, run with it and learn from your mistakes.
6) Finally, two errors that new project managers make are to either come in without confidence because they don’t feel they have enough subject matter knowledge or to come in with arrogance and then alienate the team and the stakeholders.
So, a good interview of Elizabeth with Bas De Baar, author of The Project Shrink.