Why You Need a Project Manager

posted by Katey
July 24, 2014

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Me: Hello! My name is Katey and I’ll be your project manager today. How can I help you?

You: Say what now? I didn’t order any “project manager.”

Me: I now come standard with a majority of all Blue Pony projects.

You: Riiiiiiiight. So, what do you DO exactly?

While the above conversation is entirely hypothetical, (All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events or real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental) I am often asked to explain what a project manager, or PM, actually does.

To digress, my background is in all things musical. I’ve played viola since I was eleven years old. I’ve been on stage even longer. Basically, if it has a musical score, I know it. So, the best way I know how to explain the role of a PM is to compare it to a stage production. Take, for example, the ballet Coppélia, written in 1870. The story goes that an inventor makes a dancing doll. A guy falls in love with said doll and disses his girl. The girl then pretends to be a dancing doll and saves the guy from evil inventor. (Once again, any resemblance to actual events or people is purely coincidental.) It is a brilliant piece of work. But it is only brilliant because of its players.

Arthur Saint-Leon, instrumentalist & dancer. He choreographed the entire Coppélia ballet at the age of 51.

Clément Philibert Léo Delibes, composer. Coppélia was one of two ballets that were inked by his pen.

Clément Philibert Léo Delibes, composer. Coppélia was one of two ballets that were inked by his pen.

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Giuseppina Bozzacchi, cast as lead dancer in Coppélia at only 16.
(What were you doing at 16, huh?)

As stupendous as these people were, the production could not have happened without collaborating with so many others. Dancers, costumers, set designers, backstage crew, instrumentalists. Modern day productions include lighting and a myriad of other roles. And overseeing the entire show was the production director.

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NYC Ballet production of Coppélia

A PM is a production director. They get all key players in place, focusing them on their specific expertise while keeping them on task. If a hiccup happens, they fix it. If the project is reeling off course, they get it back on track. If the scope has changed, they work with all the players to incorporate those changes into the project, or shelve it for another phase.

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Do you think Miss Bozzacchi jumped into the pit when the conductor fell ill? Or Deilbes put on a tutu when a cast member sprained their ankle? Unlikely! The production director fixed it.

I am not an expert in digital design or video production. I am not an expert in your company’s branding or product line. However, I am an expert in putting the experts in place to make your project a success, in managing a project from start to finish, and in making your life so much easier.

So, how can I help you?


KateyFeaturedKatey Zemen
is Project Manager at Blue Pony

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