Project Management and Fun: they can go together

On my blog, I have talked about some of the difficult tasks a project manager must perform and some of the routine management tasks that help keep a project on track. I guess in my trying to tackle the serious issues of projects and management I may have come across too negative.  However, project management can also be fun – not fun in the sense of skiing down a mountain or running through the sand, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Celebrating success can be fun
  • Growing your employees can be fun
  • Building relationships with people you work with can be fun
  • Creating solutions can be fun
  • Getting and keeping others excited about your project can be fun
  • Having a celebration after a very difficult system launch can be really fun

Knowing this, I was delighted to come across this excellent article by Brad Egeland from the July 13, 2009 PM Tips called: When Project Management is Fun

Brad offers some key insights into the aspects of Project Management that he considers fun – perhaps you will also. Brad observes that he is most productive when the work is fun. Fun for him involves the freedom to accomplish objectives, using cool technology and the opportunity for some hands-on. I think you will enjoy reading Brad’s entire list in “When Project Management is Fun”.

What are the characteristics of projects, teams, and organizations that make work enjoyable for you? Please Please, share some ideas so we all can become better at Having Fun!


3 Responses to “Project Management and Fun: they can go together”

  1. Brad Egeland Says:

    Bruce – FYI – just posted another article on PMTips at It’s called “Work Risks to Your Advantage” and takes on some of the same concepts because the idea is that projects with risks keep a team focused, energized and cohesive.

  2. Peter Taylor Says:

    Success can be fun, failure rarely is…

    The Lazy Project Manager

    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
    Douglas Adams (Author of ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’)

    You have to laugh; well I think you have to laugh.

    Without a little bit of fun in every project then the project world can be a dark and depressing place.

    Setting a professional but fun structure for your project can really be beneficial for when the problems start to rise up to challenge your plan of perfectness. And problems will inevitably arise.

    In the years I have done many things to encourage team bonding, lighten the darker moments of project hell, and diffuse difficult project related situations. I have even accepted the full and complete blame for every problem, issue and challenge to a project in front of a room full of project team members, before walking outside and firing myself (in a loud voice, well voices – one mine and one me pretending to be my boss). The net result was a diffused situation, where it had previously been extremely confrontational between teams and individuals.

    Done well this does not damage your status or authority but can actually be a very positive act in people seeing you a human being, and not just a project manager, and thereafter wanting to share a smile and a laugh with you during the day.

    It is just the same in that hotbed of confrontation, the home!

    Try looking at one of your children when they are in a really bad mood. Look them in the eye, with a serious face, and point a finger at them and say’ Don’t laugh! Don’t you dare laugh! If you laugh you will go straight to the naughty stair!’. I bet at the very least you will get a smile out of them.

    My family finds that, even in the most stressed out, aggressive, emotional and ‘in your face’ moments, if you can make the opposition (and I use that term loosely) laugh then the war is soon over.

    It is hard to kill someone when you are laughing.

    Well I guess that is true except for some of the more extreme psychopathic types (‘No, I expect you to die Mr Bond’ … cue maniacal laughter).

  3. PMBOK: Human Resource Management – Building a Team Culture « Fear No Project – A Project Management Blog Says:

    […] serious. Having fun together builds relationships that support working effectively together (read my post on projects and fun). To the extent possible, add some fun to a regular project meeting and keep a relaxed and open […]

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