“Are you absolutely sure?”

Came my question with my mobile phone pressed hard to my ear.

I stood beside the huge Trent 900 engine, suspended from its support beam in the engine test de-rig shop. Every Engine tested has to have several hours of work to ‘remove’ it from the rig before it can be prepared for dispatch to the customer.

It so happened that this particular engine was very urgent and the exec team had requested ‘updates every hour’ on the engines progress up to and including dispatch.

Well, there i was, me , the engine, the distinct aroma or jet engine fuel … but no one else.

“Paul, so tell me again – you have two crews de-rigging the engine ?”

yes Ian”

I paused, trying hard to contain my frustration, as there were no rigging crews anywhere in the vicinity – in fact it was pretty damn quiet stood by the engine.

“Well I … ” I began “…you might like to get up from behind your computer and join me next to the engine … as theres no one here !”

I think Paul could tell by my abrupt tone that a visit to the shop floor was necessary!

My arrival on the stage of project management was not an elegant one – it didn’t include a carefully arranged set of training courses and industrial placements, working alongside other professional project managers … no…

I have always just ‘got stuff done’ and it was only when someone said – ‘You’re really good at project management’, that I thought I’d better find out what it was that they were talking about!

Now before I go much further, let me be clear – I am absolutely in support of professional development in the field of project and programme management, but you know – sometimes we forget what we knew before we were ‘trained’.

We are all people with views, opinions and feelings … as are each and every individual we will interact with over the life cycle of any project … and we ignore this at our peril.