This week I’m spending some time at Impact Hub working together with my good friend Jonas Almeling on my upcoming Eurotrip and some other interesting stuff around community building. I still have one week left of specialisation at Hyper Island, I’ve decided to focus a lot on project management and social entrepreneurship. So what does a project manager do during the day?
I’ve talked a little bit with my friend Jonas.
- What made you become a project manager?
“I’ve always been one, in a sense. I don’t think I’ve ever chosen to become a project manager. But when it comes to building communities I get motivated by helping and developing other people. The best way I can be valuable to people is by helping them meet each other and get as much as possible out of that meeting. To work with meetings and project management is the most diversified job you can have. You’re carrying beer one day and sitting around in the meeting room the next day. I get extremely bored by repetitive work.”
- Why is it important?
“It’s important for me because I’m driven by a will to be important to others. The best way I can do it is when I actually meet the people I am helping. There’s nothing better than when someone looks you in the eye and says “Thank you”. In some sense it’s very egoistic. It’s important to build communities in this fast pace society because it’s always “humans first”, but we tend to forget that in todays society. How do we actually work as humans? Therefore i think its very important because we’re doing something for people, and we’re looking into how people work for real.”
- What are some of your struggles as a project manager?
“The biggest challenge is to manage several things at once. And as an entrepreneur i do a lot of things that are not connected to a certain client or project or income. It makes it hard to do good business. There’s also a big challenge in combining life as a future parent with this life. You have to be everywhere and manage a lot of projects and attend a lot of different events. I have to be available all the time basically.”
- How does a normal day in your job look?
“There is no normal day. If i were to put it very simple. I start my day by picking up my phone at 8 in the morning. I check what’s been going on during the night. I try to answer the things that are in need of attention. I work out of my backpack. I meet people in their offices, at cafés and different places. If i don’t have an event to attend during the night, i try to end my day at 18 because i want to spend as much time with my SO as possible. And at 22 – 01/02 its the night shift. A lot of writing, social media, communication with people who are free. Then everything restarts.”
- What tools do you use as a project manager?
“I use a lot of different tools. And since I’m alone, i use a everyone elses tools. I use podio, trello, asana. A lot of project management systems because all of my clients use different tools. I have to know everything to be able to adapt to my clients. And at the end of the day i use Notes for myself to save the information. Excel and google spreadsheets is the project managers best friend. You can use it for everything.”
- When starting a new project, what should you think about?
“Firstly, a project is very similar to a start up. When you’re launching a start up, see it as a project. As yourself the questions: Why do i do this? Who do i do this for? In most cases the how is defined. But otherwise you have to thing of the why, the what and the how. Try to be as realistic as possible and set your ambitions to a standard that you can actually reach. Most of the people who work with projects work with SMART-goals. Most of the times it’s hard to forget to use SMART-goals. You should always ask yourself, who can help me? You just have to ask and most people will help you.”