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Inspirational Project Management

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Josh Nankivel

We all do it.

Day after day we grind away at work, doing our jobs. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees anymore.

Finding Inspiration

Managing a project may seem mundane on a day-to-day basis, but I’ll bet you can find some pretty inspirational insights to share with your project teams when you think about it.

  • What is the ‘why’ of your project?
  • Who will it benefit?
  • What’s the difference between a world with, and without the product you are producing?

Case studies (even theoretical ones) are single yet powerful ways your product impacts or will impact the world.

My teams and I worry about different things day-to-day, like how to frame scenes like this from space so all data about a location is consistent over time, what metadata the scientific community needs and how to store and make it searchable and orderable, documentation, etc.

These seem like mundane things, and perhaps they are when you look at them as separate activities in isolation.

What we need is a change in perspective, a reminder of the goal.

Inspirational Leadership

I need to do a better job of this myself. I need to remind my teams what the forest looks like, why we are doing this.

So here’s my commitment to myself and my teams:
I will find at least one inspirational case study demonstrating why our project adds value to the world and share it with them.

I encourage you to take the same pledge. Maybe for you it’s a testimony from an individual who was impacted positively by the work done at your agency. Perhaps you have to dig deeper on some projects.

If your agency regulates an activity, what are examples of negative consequences that have happened prior to regulation? Pointing those out will make it clear why your work adds value to the world.

Now for something I think is cool this month:

Recovering from Mt. St. Helens Explosion As Seen By Landsat Satellites

This is one reason I’m proud to be part of the team working on this mission. Aside from 
traditional uses of this data in agriculture, forestry, land use, water resources and natural resource exploration there are more ‘cool’ uses of the data like this.
What makes you and your teams proud of your projects?

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Karen "Kari" Uhlman

When I complete my project tasks, which are puzzle pieces to our department’s mission, I feel value, which helps me maintain constructive relationships.

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