Key Concepts

Imagine walking into work one morning to find a note on your desk to see your boss immediately. Since it’s not Monday, you assume that this isn’t a crisis. In fact, being called into the boss’s office is not an unusual circumstance as it happens on a frequent basis in your organization.

However, your boss quickly removes all veneer of calmness when she details a new work assignment for you. She states that the organization is going to a “Project-Oriented” approach and for you to expect big changes. She also adds that she likes your ability to work with people and how you can communicate with just about everyone. “These will be important skills for you to use as a project team leader,” she states to you as you try to grasp what she is really saying. Finally, she elaborates on what kind of projects you will work on, and who you could expect to be on your team.

As you leave her office, you wonder what she meant by being able to work under pressure, with little to no authority, but with the highest exposure to top management. When she said that “not everyone can cut it in project management” but that she was “sure that you were up to the challenge,” you could not help but notice her emphasis on the word “challenge.” She normally used that word when there was a problem to be solved or something of great difficulty she wanted achieved.

Given all that was said—and not said—in this meeting with your boss, you decide to get as much information about project management as possible. Certainly books, magazines, and journals would help, but you feel the best way is to talk with others you trust about this type of work. You decide to take as many notes as possible, since you feel you need to document what you are reading, hearing, and seeing.