Monday, 16 June 2008 19:00

Why Bother?

Written by Andrew Miller
I am going to try a little experiment this month to solicit comments for my article. I am taking the position that Project Management is a waste of time, so why do we bother.

Why do we bother taking on projects that we know are going to fail? Why do we bother taking on projects with no clear sponsor and no set budget? Why do we bother taking on projects that have no clear end date or scope? Because we can and the pay is good and someone is convinced that we are needed, that is why.
How many projects are truly successful? Every month I read about organizations that have successfully implemented this or changed that and I do not dispute the results. I only dispute the reasons for those results. Now you might think that I am crapping on the whole project management profession, but I am not. I am only making the point that these projects are successful not because someone is good at managing projects, but because someone is a good leader.

The field of project management has taken off in recent years to the point where now everyone is a project manager, regardless of experience or capabilities. I equivocate. It is like the rash of MBA graduates that have entered the workforce in the past 10 years. Having an MBA is not what is used to be or what it should be….there are too many around! Just like there are too many project managers.

What does it take to be a good project manager? Leadership and communication skills. Give people a message and get them to follow it…..it is that simple. Get everyone on the same page and working towards a common goal for which they are accountable. It has nothing to do with project management; it has to do with leadership. Who cares if you know how to track tasks in a project plan? Who cares if you can count hours and dollars against a budget? Who cares if you can review status reports? That is monkey work. What we need to focus on is our ability to lead the flock to the Promised Land.

I welcome your thoughts…..
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