Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Here`s an excellent article from Paul Graham exploring the very real distinction between how managers view meetings and how makers view meetings -- Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule. Makers, in this case, can be writers, programmers, or anyone making things for a living. Basically, managers meet so often that they split up their days into 1 hour chunks back-to-back because that fits how they think and work. But makers simply can`t function that way. Makers need more time to do their thing. They think very differently than managers, and one hour just doesn`t cut it. In fact, two or so manager-oriented meetings can destroy a maker`s entire day. And big problems come in when you mix these two styles of work. I totally agree with the article. But I would go a bit further and suggest that the best project managers are actually makers who work on a makers schedule. They still do project management, but they work their tasks with a makers mind, not a manager`s mind.
Comments:

I would suggest that good project management is an art, and that good project managers are artists, therefore makers.

To me, it's like being a sniper. It takes mental preparation, being in a calm and productive place, a place free of stress. Then, it takes being in the right place at the right time. Finally, it takes being very focused, very intent on the mission, well-supported by your crew, and superbly trained. Then and only then will the "magic" happen, be it a block of code so tight it can run critical internet infrastructure, or a 1600-meter head-shot.

Any "problem", be it a meeting, a series of mindless phone calls, or a enemy patrol, will scrap the mission.

At least the US military knows not to waste its experienced personnel.

Posted by Christopher Mahan on August 04, 2009 at 12:00 PM JST #

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