A Day In The Life Of A PM

When we were on holiday my 7 year old son asked me “What do you do all day at work?”.  Whilst resisting the urge to simply answer “Make the world a better place” or “Try and not lose my temper” I thought long and hard about it, and didn’t really give him a great answer.  So I thought I would write it down.

My alarm is set for 7am, but I’m awake before that – make mental note to do a better job of closing the curtain to stop the sunlight streaming in.

I check my phone, read the general news headlines and offshorewind.biz.  I’m genuinely passionate about the industry I work in and I enjoy reading about what’s going on.  I check my calendar and briefly my emails before a wee sing-song in the shower.  I’ve read loads of people saying you shouldn’t be “always connected”, “don’t check email while in bed”, “don’t think about work when not in the office” – I think that’s nonsense.  Work in the way you want to work.  Whatever works for you best.

I’m in Paris so after a quick breakfast it’s a short walk to the office and I’m first in.  I’ve started to use the “sticky note” app on my laptop’s desktop and I remind myself of the priorities for the day.  Prep for a meeting about contracting strategy, some budget calculations, and at lunchtime try and find some French lessons.

The morning whizzes past.  I’m desperately trying to speak to people on the phone more, and email less – we are in the early engineering phase of this project and we are also quite a scattered project team so it’s good to talk.  A few phone calls and chats with colleagues breaks the morning up and helps to avoid misunderstandings.

We are preparing to issue a tender at the moment so the afternoon is spent writing and reviewing specifications and tender instructions – I find it really interesting (though my son probably wouldn’t!)

Before I leave the office I check my calendar for tomorrow and update the priority list.

I get back to the hotel, facetime my family and tell them about my exciting day!  After a quick bite to eat I have to tidy up my accounts and expenses, the joy of being self employed.  I read a few articles on the internet about offshore wind, and a couple more about football!  I think about how I can update my website, what I should write about, what I should research.

Working on a project in the pre-FID stage the days are very different to working on an operational project.  To be honest they are slower and more frustrating.  But the hard effort put in here should (will!!!!) make the operational phase easier.

And then it’s bed, off to sleep (after pulling those curtains properly!)

Other days can be full of travel.  Or meetings.  Or emails.  The best days (apart from pay day!) are when you come home and you feel you have achieved something – issued a document or solved a design problem.  And the worst days are when you feel like you are making no progress, or moving backwards.