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End of an Era

A few weeks ago I got an email and the subject made my heat race for a brief moment of panic.  It was notification that in 30 days my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification would expire.  For anyone that isn't familiar with project management it's like an accountant letting their CPA go.  When I quit working my 'go to an office job' I knew I would not renew when the time came so this did not sneak up on me or catch me by surprise.  However, seeing those words was a little surreal.

I did enjoy my job for the most part, the people, the company overall were really great.  The pay was pretty darn good too.  Of course you have days from H E double hockey stick but that's anything in life.  I do not miss my 'going to an office job' it at all.  I don't miss the commute, I don't miss long hours, I don't miss working on someone else's schedule and terms.  The only thing I wouldn't mind doing again is working with Microsoft Project.  I'm a slight nerd when it came to the planning aspect of projects.  I'm a planner.  I LOVED it.

This is what my favorite part was.  I would do sessions called Walk The Wall.  The end result is this beauty!  Can you follow it?!?!

Each team has a row and a special color or shape Post-It.  The monthly calendar is at the top giving a visual estimate of dates.  The plain standard yellow Post-It's in the row are the teams own tasks and duration written on them.  They put their special Post-It in another team's row indicating a dependency for a task, meaning they can't do the task on the note until the other team does something.  This particular project had 10 different teams all working together. 

It was fun to watch it come together.  People writing their tasks, going to the 'wall' and all talking about what they have to do with each other, huddling to figure it all out.  The larger projects took a while but when the teams put this effort in we had a solid plan from the start.  

After it was done I would first tape all of the Post-It's to the paper so nothing fell off or got moved!!  I'd then sit and translate it into a Microsoft Project plan.  It was tedious but the end result is what I would get excited about.

So, the end of an era for me has come.  My certification will officially expire.  I'm ok with that.  My new job of mommy has longer hours and no cash flow coming in but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Even on the tougher days there are still lots of smiles and rewards you can't put a dollar figure on.  We create our own schedule and the time freedom is unexplainable.  We do what we want when we want.  

I don't mean for that to sound like we wander around without a care in the world, we have a schedule and are productive contributors to society.  We have Stroller Strides where we attend or I'm teaching, we have swimming lessons, we have school, we have MOMS Club activities and try to squeeze in music class at the library but it's all things we do on our terms, we made the schedule and that's what's fantastic.

Good bye Lisa, PMP.


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