Thursday, 11 November 2010

The untold truths behind Project Management!

It's rare that you get someone telling it like it is – but this week we found a veteran project manager, Ken Young, exchanging war stories for you. It's good therapy!

His account, Project Managers: Fall guys or Heroes?, on The Register, 8th November, contains some gems of experience. Do you relate to these definitions of Project management?
'...as with accountancy, its beauty is usually apparent only to the dark masters of the art.'
Or,
'PM is part science (think fiendishly difficult maths meets string theory), part psychology (combine the persuasiveness of a salesman with the bloody-mindedness of the doorman), and part making the impossible happen ("we need it yesterday")'.
It's evident that Ken deals with traditional Projects rather than iMedia because his account doesn't match our situation exactly. We're less chart-bound and more hands on, I'd say, but even discounting the odd statement now and then, it has the ring of truth.

But if you look at the comments attached to this article, there's a sad tale. Loads of workers hate Project Managers, it seems. They don't buy into the skills, the human shield aspect, the fall guy to stave off management, etc. Now that cries out to me to be addressed. What's going on? We're winning the battle with management recognising our skills but not with the workers, it seems. They don't realise that they can only get on with going their job without the stakeholders, clients and management all interfering because the PM takes the strain over many of the aspects. We'd thought that in iMedia there was a potential problem of the 'doers' not respecting the PM unless he/she had come through the ranks and had demonstrated good hands-on skills in one of the key areas, but it appears this lack of respect is wider.

We'll be following the set of articles – hope you do too. The next has happened: How not to do Project Management, 10th November, The Register.

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