Here's the table of contents of the book. Most will be a polishing of "Professional Project Management with Roam" so I can probably get the first draft out by June. The chapters I'll probably need to rewrite are 6 and 13. I want to write this for Notion, Obsidian and Logseq users as well. Chapter 13 relied heavily on videos, so I need to rewrite that chapter. I also need to update it with what I've learned from hiring and managing a remote team in the past couple of years, and from Luke Burgis's Wanting, which has put into words some fundamental views I have about people management.
Below is the first draft of Chapter 3. I'll write Chapter 2 last.
Thanks again for your support. As always, feedback and questions are appreciated.
Chapter 3: Why Learn Professional Project Management
I got sucked into leading projects in school. Some were through voting and others through mandate from the teacher. Those experiences made me realize that I'm not a natural organizer. I didn't know what I was doing. There even was this time when I only remembered a project a day before its deadline. I vaguely remember the project, but that cold sinking feeling of impending doom is unforgettable.
I know people who get a kick out of organizing weddings and parties. I avoid these projects as much as possible.
I only found out about professional project management in the first years of my professional life. It turns out there's an established and systematic way for bringing ideas to reality.
I finally had a way to overcome this long-standing weakness. Professional project management eventually helped me as I grew in responsibility in my job and when I started my own business. Whatever the endpoint is, I now have a way to map out how to get there.
Professional project management is really just two things:
- a way of breaking down a project (instead of one messy blob of project management work)
- processes for systematically doing these components of project work
The project management tools in this book are "professional" because they come from generations of people who manage projects for a living.
Professional project management helps us do our projects the right way
Or at least a right way. The approaches I share in this book are few of many, but most of them are from the biggest project management professional organization in the world, the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Most of the frameworks and tools I share in this book are the ones I found most useful in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the book of standards published by the PMI.
The flagship certification of PMI is Professional Project Manager (PMP). I have been a PMP for more than a decade. I started teaching project management even while I was preparing for the certification exam. Since then, I have trained hundreds of project managers. This book is my attempt in translating that training to the written word.
Project management is a skill, so you need experience to get good at it. But you'll get better faster if you have this tried-and-tested way of looking at projects, and if you know how to use project management tools.
Professional project management lessens stress and increases brainspace
These project management tools act like a checklist. You'll rest assured that you didn't miss anything in your work as a project manager. If you neglect certain aspects, you at least neglect them consciously. Like many kinds of work, project management involves a tradeoff between time and thoroughness.
These project management tools allow you to document your project management work. This lessens worry, as well as frees up your mind for other things.
Documenting your project management work is also a favor you are doing for your future selves. If you need to lead a similar project in the future, you don't start from scratch.
Professional project management reduces wasted time. After an initial investment of learning these tools and using them, you will be more efficient in your project management work. You can use the time you save for your life outside of work, or to turn more ideas to reality.
I'm a believer of professional project management, but I also know its limitations
I am happy with this business I have built and the projects I have brought to reality. They were once just ideas. Project management helped me make them real.
When I was new to project management, I was so enthusiastic about it that I tried to use it for everything. More than a decade has passed since, and I now know project management is right for some situations and the wrong one for others. We will examine when to use these tools and frameworks in the next chapter.
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