Cesar Abeid is a longtime project management pro, and the creative force behind Project Management for the Masses. Cesar has helped countless people apply the principles of sound project management to their lives for better productivity – and the PM for the Masses website is a valuable online project management resource for professionals, too.
We sat down with Cesar to ask him a few questions on project management.
My advice is for aspiring project managers to surround themselves with people involved in project management.
How did you enter the field of project management? Was it something you planned to do, or did you find yourself managing projects and then obtained your PMP?
I did not plan on being a project manager. I was given the title at our family startup many years ago, not really knowing what it meant. It wasn’t until a few years later that I decided to learn more about project management, and pursued the PMP certification.
“Life is a project. You are the manager” is a brilliant sentence! How did you come to such an insight?
I honestly don’t remember the circumstances, but I do remember that it just came to me out of the blue. Besides being a good tagline, it is something I deeply believe in, and encourage everyone to consider.
What advice would you have for a project manager first starting out?
A project manager is an agent of change. Change, well managed, requires people. So my advice is for aspiring project managers to surround themselves with people involved in project management. This is typically done at your local PMI chapter (or equivalent professional association). Volunteer, see, and be seen. I’ve seen countless professionals find opportunities that way.
What are some tricks of the trade you’ve learned with experience?
Sometimes people don’t know what they want until you show them. After requirements are disclosed, see if you can mock up whatever it is the sponsor has described to you. You’ll learn that doing that will surface many issues and save you headaches down the line.
What is one project management practice you recommend to every project manager?
Collect every thought and tidbit of conversation you’ve had with stakeholder – you may think you’ll remember it later, but you will likely not. Have a personal system for collecting information for later processing. I recommend the GTD method by David Allen.
What are trends in the profession that you see coming in 2019 and beyond?
Remote/distributed work is something that is definitely on the rise, and managing teams from a distance is something you might want to get some experience on.
Thank you, Cesar!