• Sriram Rajagopalan

Project Management is a Life Skill

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Life is full of abundant activities that fill our time. These activities range from simple control of our activities on our day-to-day life as well as the involved ones where decision-making comes into play. But, how often do we consider to look at project management as a life skill?

People conceive of professions like engineering, medicine, law, computer science and many other professions primarily because we allow our past-environment to control today which shapes tomorrow! Think of the focus on STEM initiatives, like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. As educators, parents, and even politicians, we become so myopic in our thinking that we fail to see that the importance of delivery through people through these interdependent fields. And, that's the focus of my book "Organized Common sense" where I connect the project management principles for non-project-managers.

Take away the units of measure to perform a scientific experiment. A science student pursuing pharmacy once reasoned to me that the student choose science due to fear of Math. How can a concentration of X be diluted to a concentration of Y without applying the Math principles? So, without Math, science can't draw conclusive results.

Can the curiosity in Science combined Math alone address the hypothesis? One needs structured process-driven approach that emerges from Engineering and the tools and techniques that technology enables Engineering to apply for Science to use Math to solve the problems.

So, without understanding people that perform the work and engaging the other stakeholders that enable the environment conducive for us to focus on our work, we can't deliver any initiative. This is the reason why we say, "it requires a village to deliver work". The principles of project management has been practiced by our parents, teachers, extracurricular instructors and coaches, and our college professors. It is a life-skill that paves the foundation for the 21st century skills like critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, productivity, agility, and literacy among many other things.

But, I observed that we continue to teach our children who are going to lead the "tomorrow" with the technologies of "yesterday".This is why I started Projecting Leaders of Tomorrow, that I called PLOT.

The principles of project management and agility has to be brought up-front as the foundational skills for all STEM courses. Such exposure not only helps the excel in STEM but also find numerous new fields that they can explore, such as integrating media, information, and technology literacy on the one end while managing themselves for increased productivity without getting stressed.

These findings became prevalent as my PLOT learners came together as a team completing projects applying these life skills. Below are the results captured in PMI Today magazine in June 2017. Since then, I have started running PLOT in small increments and have now started my virtual sessions. Please check out the PLOT sessions in the Agile Training Champions "Course Mall" page. If you know of younger children in their 9th-12th grade, they will greatly benefit from this course.

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