Last year I was offered the opportunity to get involved in extending and accelerating the development of the Project Management community at ThomsonReuters. I am not a project manager though I have set up and run a few PMOs in my various Operations roles. This was more an opportunity to experiment with things I had been doubtful, if not downright contemptuous of before, but which I had been introduced to through by a very active HR community. I learned a lot from them. Look up @alisonchisnell, @dougshaw1, @floramarriott and @garelaos on Twitter, though if you are reading the online version of this as opposed to the internal TR version then you may already know them.
At the start of this year I was asked to lead the activity. I am not sure I have enjoyed anything more in my entire career.
Helping extend this community has been hugely educational and has challenged the pre conceptions I had about how achievable, valuable and useful community, social media, blogs and the development of culture can be.
My starting point:
- Community: Cuddly, wasteful, left leaning and not a good use of corporate resource. Cut funding and discourage.
- Social Media: At best banal, at worst vile. Block while feeling superior.
- Blogs: Somewhere on the spectrum between narcissism and irrelevance. Ignore while shaking head and rolling eyes.
- Culture: The corporate equivalent of attempting to juggle soot and herd cats. File under impossible.
The extent to which I was wrong about these things has made me wonder what else I might be in the dark about. Basically I have learned that if you add purpose, then each these things are powerful, effective and so enjoyable that there have been times I have struggled to contain myself. I have become somewhat like an ex smoker about the whole thing. I am also starting to scratch my head about one or two other things I have prejudices against. Please stop me if decide to take up golf, that remains an abomination.
The purpose of my blog for the next few days is to help connect our PM community to each other, but also to the wider world in preparation for our two PM Unconferences in London (Sep 11th 2012) and New York (Sep 27th 2012). The idea being to bring that connectivity in, accelerate it while we are together at the events and spin it out again after wards, internally and externally if we can. With this in mind I am posting on the Hub within ThomsonReuters but also externally at jtdots.wordpress.com. There is the beginning of a Twitter stream under the #trpm12 and #pmot tags for the events and to link us to the wider PMO community there (see @allinsona, @Louise_A_Eccles, @DianeTC1, @thelazypm, @iwhitti and @dougshaw1).
I will issue several posts describing the pleasure, passion and purpose (I am a broken record with respect to those three words at the moment, expect to hear them a lot!) I have derived from this. I nearly wrote “work” there, but this stuff got me out of bed at 0430 one Saturday and I didn’t have a deadline or a plane to catch, so while it started as a pleasure, it developed into a passion and has grown into something with purpose. Best of all, it has given me a set of skills I can re use.
For the next few weeks the content of this blog will be about the format, intent and content of the events and what I learned as we started to extend our PM community. After that I don’t know, but when I decide on a new purpose it will evolve. I am sure it will stop and start.
Success criteria, more new friends and getting better at project management.
For now, I would love to know what you think and how we can connect the ThomsonReuters PM Community internally and to the wider world.