Busy Project Managers

I had to renew my domain and I open my blog to see that my last article is almost 1 year old… And with a big promise at the end: “you’ll be hearing from me more often in the future”, haha. I feel embarrassed.

But then I open some of my favourite project management blogs and realize I’m not the only one. I see latest articles with dates like “December 2014” or “February 2015” and I start wondering: Is nothing new happening in the PM world or are we just too busy to write about it? I believe the latter to be true.

Although not an excuse for not taking the time to write, I think the digital PM job becomes more and more challenging. Even statistics back me on it: a new survey shows that 55% of PMs reported a significant increase in their workload in the last period.

We’ve long passed the cute presentation website era and moved into very complex applications. Trading stocks from a browser widget, applying for student loans online, distributing live video content, custom e-commerce experiences brought to the next level — these are all projects within Okapi that require a multidisciplinary leadership. Our team is quite diverse and we are lucky to rely on professional UI, design & technical expertise for each project, but as a project manager you do need to understand and relate to all these new business models, strategies and technologies. And this requires a lot of time and effort from me and my PM colleagues.

Well, I love this kind of busy, because you learn something new with every project you manage. But as I said, it’s challenging and time consuming, and often leaves you with little time for personal writing projects.


I found this article about the new skills PMs will need to learn in the new decade and I agree with it. But I would add 2 comments/pieces of advice to it:

  • first and foremost, a decade seems like a too long time. You really need to get up to speed now and constantly improve.
  • secondly, my no.5 skill needed would be: Be Multidisciplinary. This doesn’t mean you have to learn to code, setup servers or use Photoshop like a pro, but you do need to understand your team’s decisions and motivate them in front of the client. If you don’t even know what TDD is, how can you explain all those test writing hours in the timesheet? (P.S.: you might want to review this old blog post – cool thoughts form Ciprian, along with a fun insight from Paul in the comments section)

OK, so what’s the conclusion? Stop wasting time writing blogs and focus on how to do your job better? I hope not! I believe sharing thoughts and experiences is really motivating for the community. And I also believe that putting things in writing and learning that others are going through the same things as you do can really help in preventing a burn-out.

My plan? Well, that’s complicated. Besides all the above, I will also have a kid soon (yay! 🙂 ). So I will have to insert “mom time” in my schedule. Happily, Romania (and Okapi) is pretty supportive on new moms and I’ll have a long maternity leave. I hope that I’ll save some time for PM during this project-free time and:

  • update my portfolio (the Read/Learn/Work tabs of this blog are a bit out of date)
  • read more (to all the PMs out there: please keep on sharing, I love to read your articles)
  • write more
  • maybe even improve the blog’s design a little

So, to end on an optimistic note (even if I repeat myself): “you’ll be hearing from me more often in the future” :P.






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