Getting Unstuck: Implementing Change Through Project Management – an Interview with Bob Prol

As leaders, we need to build new leaders so that we make ourselves superfluous.

When we think of “project management,” we probably think first of plans, schedules, deliverables, resources, and dependencies among various functional departments. But in the following episode, senior project manager, Bob Prol convincingly makes the point that project management is really first and foremost a “people business.” Projects succeed or fail based on the team members and their efforts. As a project manager, Bob readily moves beyond the spreadsheet and follow-ups to get to know his team members. Doing so humanizes the overall effort and pays dividends in performance.

To help reinforce the human side of project management, Bob creates Haikus with some wake-up call messages. Listen in as Bob weaves together project management principles and poetry.

A sampling of Bob’s Haikus.

A sampling of Bob’s Haikus.

Listen for:

• Bob’s philosophy on leadership.

• How project management is really integral to change management.

• The critical importance of articulating the importance behind a change.

• Why accurate scheduling is better than buffering intermediate dates.

• The danger to the project of offline or out-of-meeting discussions.

• The benefits of getting the project manager involved as early as possible in the project.

If I have a leader who doesn’t care about me, doesn’t consider me, I don’t feel as engaged. The bottom line is that I work to live; I don’t live to work. We work to get the resources we want to do the things we enjoy. Your home life is way more important than your work life. The personal connection is what carries teams through the tough times.

After listening to the episode:

Bob made a big point about making sure that the project team has articulated and is focused on achieving “desired outcomes.” Where in your work or life are you working toward desired outcomes? Where are you not and should be?


For more information on Bob:



Book: Haiku for Project Managers

Jeff Ikler