There I was in full flight during a project management course when someone said: “I did not sign up for all this project stuff.”
The person who made the comment was a graduate, had studied hard to become a professionally qualified solicitor within a company. He was effectively questioning why he was why he was involved in project management and on the course.
After a brief series of questions (from me) and answer session from him I established that he was part of a two major projects and had contributed enormously to build a business case for one of them. He enjoyed his work as a solicitor and he felt that he was being dragged into project management against his will.
It is important to mention that like many of the people we work with he was not involved full time in projects. Project management played a large part in his job.
The argument he was following was the same one many people have used when they start to get promoted into management roles; they leave behind their professional work. He felt uncomfortable; unsupported and could not see the context for project management.
Regular readers will note that I have written extensively about the role of senior managers. It is hardly surprising that people come up with comments such as the one made by the solicitor if senior managers do not discuss how the vision will become reality. How else is a corporate strategy to be delivered but through delivering projects which inevitably means professional staff getting involved in them.
I was able to convince this person and others of the real value of project management. He was going to go back and speak to his senior management and ask some important questions!