The Microwave PM

By Lakecia Carter, PMP

Do you remember when your family purchased your first microwave? In 1986, there were roughly 25% of households with microwaves and my family was one of them! No more waiting to preheat the oven, no more waiting to heat food on the stove! Then, came all of the “microwavable” meals – even more convenience! How amazing was that?! Our society has been termed “the microwave society” because we have been spoiled by instant gratification. Do you ever feel like you are expected to be a “microwave” PM? Your stakeholders seem to want estimates before requirements, deliverables faster and sooner – no matter what the effort! Well, there’s no such thing as a microwave PM – BUT as PMs, there are some things we can learn from a microwave!

#1: Microwaves save time

Microwaves are popular because of SPEED and CONVENIENCE. PMs should also have a reputation for delivering information quickly and easily. Seek ways to become more efficient; Eliminate waste and the heavyweight processes and documentation; Simplicity is key! Time can be your best friend if you value it!

#2: Microwaves operate with a clock

When using a microwave, you must enter the suggested cooking time. Somewhere along the way, you will check your meal and add more time or stop the clock. In the same manner, you should honor your time commitments. When you need to respond to a request, do so in a timely manner. Be on time and start meetings on time. Be proactive when something changes along the way and let people know beforehand.

#3: Microwaves have different power levels that can be adjusted

The power levels on microwaves are very important. If you cook on the wrong level, it can ruin your meal. Always be prepared to adapt to the team and situations as they arise; Some situations will require you to be more aggressive (HIGH) and others will require you to step back and observe (LOW);  It is up to you to check the temperature setting and adjust accordingly.

Today, there are over 90% of households with microwaves. You rarely see a kitchen today that is not equipped with one. As for Projects, there should NOT be one Project without a Project Manager! PMs, like microwaves, can save time, honor time commitments and adapt to change! How amazing is that?!

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2 Responses to “The Microwave PM”

  1. MyLinh Nguyen says:

    Excellent inputs, thanks.

  2. Lakecia says:

    Thanks MyLinh!

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