Back to news & views

The project manager: craftsman or practitioner?

Richard Sennet in his latest book, “The Craftsman”, discusses the difference between practice and craft. His view is that practice is simply the provision of a skill sufficient to deliver a requirement, whereas craft is the exercise of a skill informed by constant curiosity and development, unconstrained by hidebound processes or standards. A craftsman adapts and challenges constantly in search of the next mountain to overcome. We, at DMW, subscribe to this view.

What value does your average project manager add and are they a PRINCE2 practitioner. What does this qualification really mean, little more than the person has learned a standard process? However, does this work in all cases? Does this show the person can lead a team, correctly identify and articulately challenge unnecessary rules or process that are preventing progress, can this person create a persuasive vision behind which the team and senior stakeholders can unite and think creatively to find new ways to deal with problems. A paper qualification is meaningless.

A craftsman firstly has to be chosen by those that can identify the nascent skills in these crucial areas. Then, their skills need to be honed by providing the right opportunities and supported in a nurturing environment. This is what we believe DMW has managed to do over the last 20 years and that is why so many clients return to us again and again. They know the difference between true craftsmen and dull practitioners.