The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 352: Enlightened Project Management (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP® Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Joe Drammissi, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Joe Drammissi, MSPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM

We spend most of our waking hours at work, yet for many among us the time spent there is unrewarding, unfulfilling, and often just unpleasant. If that sounds familiar, then we can help.

Today we are going to be talking about Enlightened Project Management with Joe Drammissi, PMP (http://enlightenedpm.com/about). At first, this sounds like a method that comes straight out of a new age textbook, but it is in fact a worthwhile concept that helps us project managers not only make a positive difference, but also puts us at the leading edge of change. So keep on listening!

In our interview, Joe and I talk about what enlightened project management is but then quickly talk about the traits that an enlightened project managers has. We review what such a PM strives to do, believes in and how she or he works with stakeholders.

We close out the interview by learning how EPM is applied on a project manager's day-to-day work, and Joe gives us a technique that is easy to apply to get us started -- all based on his book 101 Tips for the Enlightened Project Manager.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to episode number 352. This is the Project Management Podcast at www.pm-podcast.com and I'm Cornelius Fichtner.  Thank you for stopping by and please don't forget that we are listener-supported podcast. If you enjoy our interviews, then please visit www.pm-podcast.com/premium. Your subscription will help to keep us going. We spend most of our waking hours at work. Yet for many among us, the time spent there is unrewarding, unfulfilling, and often just unpleasant. If that sounds familiar, then we can help. Today, we are going to be talking about Enlightened Project Management with Joe Drammissi. At first, this sounds like a method that comes straight out of a new age textbook, but it is in fact a worthwhile concept that helps us project managers not only make a positive difference, but also puts us at the leading edge of change. So keep on listening. If you are a project manager who wants to become PMP or PMI ACP® certified, then the easiest way to do so is with our sister podcast, the PM PrepCast and the Agile PrepCast. And study for the exam by watching the in-depth exam prep video training from www.pmprepcast.com. In our interview, Joe and I talk about what enlightened project management is but then quickly talk about the traits that an enlightened project managers has. We review what such a PM strives to do, believes in and how she or he works with stakeholders. We close out the interview by learning how EPM is applied on a project manager's day-to-day work, and Joe gives us a technique that is easy to apply to get us started. As you will hear, Joe also wrote a book that contains 101 tips for the enlightened project manager. And we're giving two of those away. Please visit www.facebook.com/pmpodcast to participate. And now think about why you are a project manager and enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner:  Hello, Joe. Welcome to the Project Management Podcast.

Joe Drammissi:   Well, thank you, Cornelius. It's good to be here.

Cornelius Fichtner:  It's a pleasure to have you. So would you please define enlightened for us. What do you mean by enlightened?

Joe Drammissi:   Yes. By the way I'm using enlightened here is I guess if you were to look this up, you would find the definition for enlightened. To give someone greater knowledge or understanding of a subject or situation. And that's really how I'm looking at it. You could take other views. This is more the less spiritual view, more of the knowledge-oriented view here is the context I'm using it in.

Cornelius Fichtner:  Okay. And then, how do you define or what is Enlightened Project Management?

Joe Drammissi:   Yes. Well, Enlightened Project Management is, if I break it down just to its essence, the purpose, I suppose of Enlightened Project Management is to help people have the most rewarding, happiest, successful work experience that they can have. Doing this through, again, knowledge and understanding and that's one of the main, I guess that's the main purpose of Enlightened Project Management, to take the skills and the knowledge you should have or could develop here and to apply that. And not only in the workplace but in your life in general. So that's I guess how I look at Enlightened Project Management.

Cornelius Fichtner:  You told me before we started the interview that last year you develop the concept, you set everything up. But this year, it's your way to reach out to everybody and introduce the concept of Enlightened Project Management. Let's go back to the beginning. Why did you develop it?

Joe Drammissi:   Well, it's interesting. As I was thinking about this, I read a lot of books on just different workplace subjects and subjects interrelating with people, things like that. Things that are related to what we do in the workplace. And I was having coffee with a friend of mine and he said, you got to read these three books. And the three books he'd mentioned, one was the Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey, the CEO and founder of Whole Foods. Another one was Conscious Business by a guy named Fred Kofman whose an economist, an MIT economist. And then the third one was a book called Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia, whose also Mackey's co-author. And all three of these books talk about the same kind of things. They talk about companies. They try to make more conscious decisions as they run their organizations or they run their businesses. And they try to make decisions that benefit all of the stakeholders as much as they can. They try to make decisions that benefit not only the shareholders but the employees, the customers, hopefully, the public in general. And as I was reading these books that he'd suggested to me, I started thinking about that in terms of project management. And I started thinking that project management is something that pretty much all companies do. Most companies, some of them may realize it or not, but most companies generate a fair amount of their revenue either directly or indirectly through project work. And I was thinking that this is the way that I think organizations are going to be developing. I think organizations who are going to be successful in the future are going to be taking this more conscious approach. And if you look in these books, you'll see list of companies. Companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Starbucks, Costco, the container company here in San Diego, REI, Charles Schwabb, the investment companies,-one of these companies. And I think companies that take that approach are going to be more successful in the future. So I started thinking that since project management is so into growth of the most companies, I was thinking that project management should be evolving in that same way, moving in that same direction. So that’s what got me started thinking about this whole concept of Enlightened Project Management and that's where it came from.

Cornelius Fichtner:  You've addressed my next question already a little bit. But let me ask you anyway here because critics might say we are project managers and we have deadlines to meet, we have sponsors to satisfy, we have budgets not to over cross. And if I need enlightenment, I'm going to take a yoga class. So do we really need Enlightened Project Management? Do we not just need good, solid, successful project management?

Joe Drammissi:   Yes. And the two were intertwined, I think. I don't think you necessarily get one without the other. One of the things that I notice in my work experience is the work environment a lot of times is not as optimal as it can be. There seems to be a lot of dysfunction in the workplace and the thing you want to remember is most of us spend most of our waking hours at work. We probably spend more time with our colleagues than we spend with our family really. And that experience should be a good experience I think. Especially people at our  level at project managers, you're fairly senior in an organization, you're at least middle level or if not higher, depending on the organization and the projects and the things that you're responsible for. And you should be going to work and enjoying yourself there. This should be a happy experience. This should not be a miserable experience like it unfortunately, is for a lot of people. And I'll ask people sometimes when I'm speaking to groups. For instance, I'll ask a question, I did this at a dinner a little while ago, there's about a 100 people in the audience. And I asked for a show of hands, I said, who works at the best place they've ever worked for the best boss on the planet with great people doing great stuff? And you get up in the morning and you're just excited, you can't wait to get there. And I asked for a show of hands and I saw like seven or eight hands which is more than I expected out of the 100 people. And then I usually asked them, if you're here with your boss or if you're self-employed, put your hand down. And I'll lose a couple of hands that way. But my argument is that our level, I should see half of the hands of the room going up. You should enjoy what you're doing at work because if you're happy like that, you're more engaged, you're more motivated, you're more productive, you'll do a better job which is better for you, it's better for the organization, it's better for the customers and clients, it's better for everybody. I think that's the reason. If you take the other approach of I've got schedules to meet and this and that, you turned it more into a job rather than a career or profession and I think you will not be as effective.

Cornelius Fichtner:  When I stopped by at your website www.enlightenedpm.com, one thing that I realized immediately, project management isn't going to be enlightened. It's the project manager, the woman or the man, who's leading the project who's going to be enlightened. So let's take a look, let's focus on the project manager for a bit here. What does an enlightened project manager strive to do?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

Tags: PDUs: Technical Project Management, Project Manager Soft Skills, Enlightened Project Management, Project Management Concepts

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