Friday, October 23, 2009

Time for a PM Revolution (The Value of Project Management)

Is anyone else getting as frustrated as I am about the debate over the value of Project Management? Project Managers are generally not consulted, then asked to do the impossible, and then blamed if it does not go well! For instance:

An Executive picks a pet project to complete. He looks at his staff and figures that anyone can do project management. So he selects Ron from Accounting (because he is generally reliable) and assigns him as the project manager. He then tells Ron, "I need this done by the end of the year. You have $1,000,000 to spend." As soon as Ron accepts the project, it has failed! How can we possibly know how much to spend or how long it will take before we have had a chance to plan? If Ron tries to plan, he is told, "We don't have time to plan, we have to get going to get this done!" When the project runs late or over budget, then the executive feels that there is no value in project management.

Do you think that this same executive would ask anyone who finished high school math to close the books for the quarter? NO! Why? Because accounting is a certified profession that has a clear process. We don't short change that process, it takes what it takes. Does a commercial developer select anyone who can draw to be an architect? NO! Why? Because it is a learned and certified profession! Isn't project management a certified and learned profession? It is time to realize that a PM Revolution is in order! It is time to understand that not everyone can do project management!

The reason that we can't find the value in project management is all that we are doing is executing poor decisions. You already selected a date, budget, and since anyone can do project management, whoever was available got the assignment. Project management will continue to be devalued until we as project managers stand up and educate. At least that is my opinion!

No day but today,



Anonymous said...

Rick, as usual you are spot on.

I am looking forward to your blog.

Brad McCann

Perry Joel said...

Yeah its a good article. According to you what we project managers do is communicating. And a lot of this communication is done during project meetings. It can sometimes feel like you are running from one meeting to another and that your time is often wasted. Meetings don’t start on time, the issues aren’t dealt with, there is no agenda, there is no focus, nobody assigns any follow ups or tasks and of course then they also don’t end on time. An efficient project manager is required for the good management of a project. I think a project manager should PMP certified. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company.