We’ve been through another series of courses this month, hence my disappearance from the blog recently. This month the theme was project management. Some of the interesting questions which came up across all three cities were related to just how much project management do we apply to our projects?
Veteran project managers from our industry all agree that PMBOK is a good thing, but its just not practical! “We dont get a budget” they say… or “procurement and HR are out of our scope”. “How can we cost when we dont even know how much people in my team are getting in terms of salary and perks?”. Some say that we utilize agile techniques, because they are more ‘closer’ to what we’re doing. But even then, ask them what makes up a good story (as in stories in XP) and they’ll launch into a tale about ‘woe is me’!
So what is practical then? what is just enough project management?
In my experience, project management practiced in our industry is as client-dependent as anything else. If the client says “plan!!” we plan, otherwise, we draw up a sorry excuse for a schedule and take it on gut feeling from there. The only answer I can come up with for this behavior is lack of accountability.
When PM’s aren’t accountable for what they did in previous projects, then they aren’t going to do anything seriously. The expectation from a PM by management is one and one thing only. To deliver a project (by hook or by crook) within the time frame and not screw up.Â Management doesn’t really care if they planned the project, if they winged it, or if they let someone else take over, the only matrix they have is meeting the deadline. And the manager who cant… well, “there’s plenty of good enough companies who will hire me… this company sucks anyway”.
Of course, you can deliver projects one at a time,Â (yes, management! i’m talking to you!!!) but can you make a company this way? Can you afford to keep repeating mistakes you know you do, and you know how not to as well? Can you afford loosing both valuable employees and paying clients just because you are not willing to expect more from your PMs but instead want to rub them into the ground?
Agree? Disagree or just want to flame me, you’re welcome to the comments section!