An advert made for a telecommunications concern in Europe urged people to ‘be more dog’.
It was rubbish and achieved nothing.
Because it said nothing.
It is said that dogs are our best friends.
Many people like to play and relate with dogs. It relaxes them.
Throw a ball for a friendly dog, even an invisible ball, and the chances are they will go chasing after it.
You can do this repeatedly and most dogs never seem to tire.
Real ball, invisible ball or space-cadet-on-another-planet ball.
Dogs will do things that no self-respecting adult would put up with.
Or that’s what we like to think.
High-value freelance Project Managers are a bit like dogs.
Domesticated prize pedigree dogs for sure.
But still dogs.
Organisations do that to people.
Organisations and the people in them may have a real project, invisible project or a rubbish project.
So they hire a freelance Project Manager.
Especially if it is a train-wreck of a project.
And they throw the project plan and other tawdry artefacts into the future and expect the PM to react.
And generally we do.
Time and time again.
No matter how stupid, surreal or bizarre it seems from the outset.
We generally go chasing rubbish project after rubbish project thrown out for us, tirelessly.
Just like the dogs chasing down the thrown balls.
Real or imaginary or boloney.
Has it anything to do with the ego tripping eccentricity of some people who hire freelance PMs?
People who reason that “once I was a PM, and I thought it was great. Now I get to hire PMs to work for me”?
Is that it?
Why do you need a dog?
Why do you need a freelance PM?
To boost a miserable ego?
To save a failed marriage?
To rescue an even more rubbish project?
Get someone to take the hit, fall on their sword and be burdened with the blame?
To protect the guilty?
“What sort of dog were you looking for?”
“Doesn’t matter. When is the first one available?”
“We’ve got an eight year thoroughbred collie with all her jabs, and she’s certified in Prince2 and Enterprise Data Warehousing”.
“No, no. Too old. Give me another option”.
If you are a freelance Project Manager you are also quite often expected to be like a dog.
Which is problematic.
It doesn’t achieve the square root of anything.
It’s just a way to finesse the absurd and shift blame.
A dog is not just for Christmas, neither is a freelance Project Manager.
That’s the story.
Remember that the next time you are asked to perform.
Remember that the next time you are urged to do something that is clearly wrong.
Reality is quite different.
Remember that the next time you are provoked to chase a real ball, an invisible ball or a on-another-planet up ball.
You should start thinking like a real reasoning and ethical human being who wants to be a Professional Project Manager.
And less like a dog that is on the game.
Be real, don’t be a dog!
File under: Good Strat, Good Strategy, Martyn Richard Jones, Martyn Jones, Cambriano Energy, Iniciativa Consulting, Iniciativa para Data Warehouse, Tiki Taka Pro