Wow! What a great opportunity to share something I am extremely passionate about. It is rare that I get to shout from the roof tops regarding my love for creative program management. How did I find creative program management? I cannot remember the exact moment it happened. I don’t propose to think that it is lost or missing, but simply miscategorized.
Early on, the idea that creative program management existed was far from my mind, because the word ‘creative’ in the world of project management was always associated with marketing campaigns, web sites, and digital work.
I always remember being sparked whenever I got the chance to work with creative people. By that I mean, people who were interested in looking at things in a new way or working on projects that took me into the fields and outside of the IT or engineering fishbowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect traditional project management and the newly popular, agile/scrum. I have used it for over 20 years. And when you use something for so long, it is easy to identify when it may not be the perfect fit in other areas.
One of my first early examples of this was in 2012 when I was working with an aspiring fashion designer. I realized that the traditional approach did not fit, but I eagerly tried to force an approach on a creative program and the success measures were quite low. At the time I did not realize the root of the problem.
Later in 2016, enter Russel Nash, and his business partner were interested in creating a fabulous theatrical musical production in the southern Andalusian parts of Spain. I was elated at the thought of working on something so innovative, new and exciting, but I quickly learned that traditional constructs would not be beneficial for the vizun; just as they were not for the aspiring fashion designer.
Lightbulb! The model was born, or at least a first draft version. Models may seem like they grow from the mind like a thought like ‘what’s for dinner?’, but the work I started on the model has proven that statement quite wrong.
I began working on it alone back in 2016, and it continues to grow and transform as we stress test it to no mercy. Just recently, literally two days ago, the model reached a point of finalization that screams it is ready to be shared.
The model rightfully receives its own spotlight, but it goes hand in hand with The Arrington Method (TAM) and the methodology of creative program management, which is also TAM – quite confusing, but just consider it an all-in-one package.
The interesting thing is that the model came first. The idea that something was needed created the need for TAM. If I could pinpoint the moment, I knew I wanted to start TAM, it would have to be after watching the Fyre documentary. I walked away with complete awe and invigoration that with no doubt, I most certainly could have pulled off a successful festival. In that very moment, as the credits on the documentary rolled, the vizun for TAM began to form.
The idea that we could fine tune a model, create and share tools, so that people could not only dream and have ideas, but breathe life into vizuns and see them take flight.
Waking up every day, I still get excited when I see the word creative or program and I am seeing it more than I ever did in the past and it is my dream that as we educate and continue to support knowledge in this area, people will begin to value and use the model we have created.
My future predictions for the creative program management field, is an influx of dreamers taking hold of their management and abandoning an idea that there is a perfect moment to dream or plan for dreaming. I see individuals, companies, business owners, creatives, high school students and even young people becoming CPM verified as they look for ways to establish their presence as true creative program managers, able to use the tools we have designed to actively pursue their own journeys.
I don’t believe that we should replace the old traditional ways, but that perhaps we should consider a new way to approach creative programs; especially those large and complex enough to warrant special attention.
My personal belief is that we don’t talk enough in the beginning and that sometimes we work on an idea before it is a vizun. Much of what I propose in this approach to creative program management is focusing on developing the idea into a vizun and actively claiming connection to those things that are most important. Secondly, the idea that people matter most and that inspiring people to do their very best can yield some amazing return on the work they do.
When we put the vizun and people first, creativity and innovation become the natural components of the great things that transpire over the course of a program. The idea that it can happen over and over again in the development of innovative thought and connection, is the most amazing reward.