The 4 Types of Project Manager
Hey there, executives! Are you tired of just winging it when it comes to growing your organization? Yeah, me too. Luckily, we’ve got some smart people who have worked hard for us. They’ve figured out that you need four types of project managers to pursue different growth opportunities. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but for business.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “but do I really need all four types? Can’t I just stick with one and call it a day?” Well, my friend, even the most stable industries can be disrupted. It’s like when you’re sitting on the couch, minding your own business, and suddenly your cat decides to attack your foot. You didn’t see it coming, did you? That’s why you need to be prepared for anything and have all four types of project managers on your team.
And don’t even get me started on the hypercompetitive industries. They’ve got growth opportunities coming out the wazoo, but even they need to assess and quantify them. It’s like when you’re playing Monopoly – you might have Boardwalk and Park Place, but if you don’t have any hotels, you won’t win the game.
So, bottom line, you need all four types of project managers to grow your organization sustainably. It’s like having a diverse group of friends – they all bring something different to the table. And if you rely too heavily on just one type of project manager, you’re gonna miss out on some serious growth opportunities. Don’t be that person who only orders the same thing at the restaurant every time. Mix it up and try something new.
The Four Types
Alrighty, let’s break this down in a way that won’t put us all to sleep. Basically, we’ve got four types of project managers, and they’re all different but equally important. It’s like the Spice Girls – they’re all different, but when they come together, it’s magical.
These project managers are like superheroes, each with their own superpower that helps them tackle different growth opportunities. You need them all because they see things in different ways and can gain support from different people in the organization. It’s like a team of Avengers – you need Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk to save the world.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need an equal number of each type. Most organizations need executors to keep the profits coming in, but you also need a few prophets, gamblers, and experts to identify and pursue growth opportunities that are off the beaten path. It’s like playing a game of chess – you need your pawns to protect your king, but you also need your knights and bishops to make strategic moves and take risks.
So let’s meet the team, shall we? We’ve got the prophets, who are like the fortune tellers of the group. They can see the future and identify growth opportunities that others can’t. Then we’ve got the gamblers, who are like the high rollers. They’re not afraid to take risks and make bold moves. Next up are the experts, who are like the brains of the operation. They know everything there is to know about their field and can solve any problem that comes their way. And last but not least, we’ve got the executors, who are like the worker bees. They keep everything running smoothly and make sure the profits keep rolling in.
So there you have it, folks. You need all four types of project managers to succeed in the business world. It’s like assembling a pizza – you need all the toppings to make it delicious. Don’t be afraid to take risks, think outside the box, and bring in some experts to help you renew and grow your organization.
1. The Prophet Type
This guy is like the fortune teller of the business world, except instead of reading tea leaves, he’s chasing after growth opportunities that are way outside the box. It’s like trying to catch a unicorn – it might not exist, but dang if it’s not exciting to try.
The prophet type is all about taking risks and pushing boundaries. They don’t play by the rules, they make their own. And they’re not just thinking outside the box, they’re throwing the box away altogether. It’s like a rebel without a cause, except this rebel has a cause – growth.
Now, obviously, running these kinds of projects is risky. It’s like trying to walk a tightrope blindfolded. But that’s what makes it so exciting! And sure, there’s a chance that the growth opportunities won’t pan out, and the prophet will be seen as a “false prophet.” But you know what they say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
But don’t just take my word for it – even Google has a unit called X (formerly Google X) that’s all about these moonshot ideas. They’re solving big problems using radical solutions and breakthrough technologies. It’s like trying to cure cancer with a popsicle stick and some duct tape. And sure, it’s impossible to realistically assess the likelihood of success before they try it out, but that’s what makes it so exciting.
So if you want to challenge the existing strategy and pursue overlooked growth opportunities, you need a prophet on your team. They might not always be right, but they’ll sure make things interesting. It’s like adding a little spice to your bland office cubicle.
2. The Gambler Type
This guy is like a high-roller at the casino, except instead of chips, he’s betting on growth opportunities within the existing strategy. It’s like trying to hit the jackpot without knowing if there’s even a jackpot to be won.
The gambler type is all about taking chances and making big bets. They’re not afraid to roll the dice and see what happens. And while they play by the rules of the game, they don’t have a good business case to back up their bets. It’s like convincing your boss to let you play video games all day because you just have a hunch it will improve your productivity.
But don’t worry, the gambler type isn’t just blindly throwing money around. They seek to engage other members of the organization who are also up for a little risk-taking. It’s like getting your coworkers to pitch in on the office lottery pool – you might not win, but at least you’ll have some fun trying.
Sure, there’s a chance that the growth opportunities won’t be feasible and will result in significant losses. But that’s the price you pay for taking risks. And the gambler type is necessary because they can update the existing strategy by pursuing growth opportunities that others have overlooked. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough – you never know when you’ll strike gold.
And speaking of striking gold, MTV’s first digitally integrated and interactive program, Top Selection, was driven by gamblers. They tried it out under the radar before they had enough proof of concept to get managerial approval. It’s like launching a new product before you know if it’s even going to sell. But hey, sometimes you have to take a chance to see what sticks.
So if you want to make some big bets on growth opportunities within your existing strategy, you need a gambler on your team. They might not always win, but they’ll sure make things interesting. It’s like playing a game of poker – you never know what the other players have in their hand, but you can bet on the gambler to make a bold move.
3. The Expert Type
These guys are like the brains of the operation, except instead of solving math equations, they’re pursuing growth opportunities that are well-supported by solid, trustworthy data. It’s like following a recipe to make the perfect cake – you know exactly what you need to do to make it work.
The expert type is all about challenging the existing strategy by pursuing growth opportunities that lie outside the current strategy, but are backed up by solid quantitative evidence. They’re like the detectives of the business world, following the clues and gathering the evidence to make their case. And while the growth opportunities are well-supported and should be feasible, the challenge is getting other organizational members to listen to their advice. It’s like trying to convince your coworkers that your crazy idea to start a unicorn farm is actually a good idea.
But don’t worry, the expert type isn’t just spouting off random ideas. They have the data to back up their claims, and they’re just trying to make organizational members aware of the need for strategic change. It’s like trying to get your boss to switch from fax machines to email – you know it’s a better way to do things, but you have to convince everyone else.
And if you’re wondering if this type of project manager actually works, look at Intel’s transition from memory chips to microprocessors. The key employees within the organization tried to persuade management of the value of the opportunity for some time, and it took the executive team several years to finally make the organizational transition. But with the expert type on their side, they were able to make the transition successfully. It’s like changing the tires on a moving car – it’s not easy, but with the right tools and expertise, you can do it.
So if you want to challenge the existing strategy and pursue growth opportunities that are well-supported by data, you need an expert on your team. They might not always be the flashiest, but they know their stuff and can make a real difference. It’s like having a math wiz on your side – they might not be the coolest, but they can help you solve any problem that comes your way.
4. The Executor Type
These guys are like the workhorses of the business world, except instead of pulling a plow, they’re executing growth opportunities that are well-documented and aligned with the existing strategy. It’s like following a recipe that you know will turn out delicious – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, follow the steps.
The executor type is all about getting things done. They’re like the drill sergeants of the business world, following a rigorous analysis to make sure everything is aligned and executed properly. And while there’s no risk or uncertainty involved, getting everyone on board is not always easy. It’s like trying to convince your coworkers to switch to a new email system because it’s more efficient – some people don’t like change.
But don’t worry, the executor type isn’t just a stickler for the rules. They have a limited number of growth opportunities that are low-hanging fruit, but they know how to execute them to perfection. It’s like the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And while they can’t provide insights into the more radical and unknown business opportunities, they know how to get things done right.
And if you’re wondering if this type of project manager actually works, look at DuPont’s approach for assessing and implementing growth opportunities. It’s a phased and systematic handling of new opportunities within a disciplined framework built on best practices, providing standardized guidance throughout the process. It’s like following a manual to build a piece of furniture – you know it will turn out great as long as you follow the steps. And it’s particularly suitable for executors who know how to plan and execute effectively.
So if you want to execute well-documented growth opportunities and aligned with the existing strategy, you need an executor on your team. They might not be the most exciting, but they know how to do the job correctly. It’s like having a reliable car that always gets you from point A to point B – it might not be a Ferrari, but it’s always there when you need it.
How do they Interact with Each Other?
Let’s talk about the drama that can happen when you put different types of project managers together. It’s like mixing oil and water – they just don’t seem to get along. The prophets think the executors are too bureaucratic and rigid, while the executors think the prophets are unrealistic and disorganized. It’s like trying to get your cat and dog to be friends – they don’t see eye to eye.
And when one type of logic becomes dominant in the organization, it can lead to some serious problems. Employees of a different type might leave the organization and take their ideas with them, leaving you with a bunch of executors and no prophets. And relying on just one type of logic can lead to organizational inertia, which is no good in a dynamic and evolving market. It’s like wearing the same outfit every day – it might be comfortable, but it’s not going to impress anyone.
So what can you do to prevent this kind of drama? Well, you can introduce some boundary-spanning individuals who can navigate among the different types. It’s like having a mediator to help your cat and dog get along. And top management can adopt a “bridging” role to allow for coexistence and diversity. It’s like being the cool parent who lets their kids be themselves.
But as an executive, you can also set up a workshop where the different types meet and discuss with their alter ego. It’s like a group therapy session for project managers. The executors can talk to the prophets, and the gamblers can talk to the experts. And who knows, maybe they’ll actually learn something from each other. It’s like getting your cat and dog to play together – it might take some work, but it’s worth it in the end.
So don’t let the drama get in the way of your organization’s success. Embrace the different types of project managers and create a space where they can all coexist and thrive. It’s like having a diverse group of friends – they might have their differences, but they make life more interesting.
Are Executives Part of the Problem?
Okay, so let’s get real for a second. Sometimes executives don’t think things through when they’re assigning projects to their team members. And when they don’t consider the strengths and weaknesses of their prophets, gamblers, experts, and executors, it can lead to some major disasters. It’s like trying to make a sandwich with a hammer – it’s just not going to work out.
But here’s the thing – no type is inherently better or rarer than the others. They all bring their own unique talents to the table. Unfortunately, executives often get caught up in the hype surrounding prophets and gamblers. They see them on magazine covers and in newspaper headlines and think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. And that can lead to some serious problems.
For example, executives might promote a good executor to run a prophet-type project, thinking that they’re ready for the big leagues. But that can be a recipe for disaster. Or they might tap a prophet to run a project that really needs an expert executor, and then be scratching their heads when things don’t go as planned. It’s like trying to make a smoothie with a fork – it’s just not going to turn out well.
Instead of assuming that certain types are better than others, executives need to be aware of and value all four types. They need to give them the appropriate room and match them with the right projects. It’s like having a toolbox – you need all the different tools to get the job done right. So let’s stop trying to make sandwiches with hammers and smoothies with forks, and start using the right tools for the right jobs.
Let’s cut to the chase – having a diverse team with all four types of project managers is key to successful business development. Each type brings their own unique flavor to the mix, and you need all of them to make a winning recipe. It’s like a pizza – you need all the different toppings to make it delicious. Sure, some people might prefer mushrooms while others like pepperoni, but the combination of all the flavors makes it great.
So as an executive, it’s your job to make sure you have each type within your organization, and to give them the space to work their magic. You need to understand and appreciate their different ways of thinking, and match them with the right projects. It’s like putting together a puzzle – you need all the pieces to complete the picture.
But unfortunately, too many executives focus on a narrow range of people and ideas, and end up missing out on all the delicious opportunities out there. You can’t just stick with the same old toppings all the time – sometimes you need to try something new and spicy. That’s why having a diverse team is so important for driving commercially sustainable growth.
So let’s stop playing it safe and start embracing the unique strengths of each individual employee. It’s like going to a buffet – you want to try a little bit of everything to find out what you really like. Only then can you create a winning recipe for success.
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Recommended external article: The seven types of project manager