Mission and Vision
“For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that.”
Ray Anderson, entrepreneur
Observations and Opinions:
- Project managers should consider themselves administrators of investments.
- Don't push when it says “Pull”. Each project is a new learning process. High-pressure environments commonly make people learn the wrong lessons.
- The hardest job for a project manager is: Knowing where the project stands. The second hardest is: Knowing what team members are actually doing. The third one is fighting misunderstandings and conflicts between stakeholders.
- Projects may be over-organized or under-organized. Many experts correctly warn of over-organized projects, but the second blunder is much more frequent.
- Most project plans that I have seen had obvious but unhandled inconsistencies and non-compliances with requirements. In essence, this means planning for failure. While it is unlikely that a plan will simply come together, this part of the plan generally does.
- Many managers make decisions based on numbers. Give managers wrong numbers, and they will make poor decisions.
- Reserves are the gaps between objectives and constraints. Project managers should watch these gaps closely: A project manager without reserves is a feeble observer of big events.
- Project management is 90 percent management and 10 percent leadership. Good project managers delegate the first 90 percent to project associates and focus for themselves on the leadership job.
- Many project managers delegate too late. You must start delegating work before the workload overburdens you. Once you can’t cope with your work anymore, you will not have the time and energy to develop the newbie in your team.
- When (project) managers have to explain organizational deficiencies in the project, they often respond by referring to technical troubles. This is a kind of finger-pointing on others.
- Project management literature and education consists of too many naïve concepts, like the assumption of a single handover to customers/users at project end, when staged deliveries and multiple deadlines during the course of the project are far more common today.
- Good project managers in project environments with project traffic light systems are easy to identify: They have their lights set on “red” to secure the scarcest and most valuable of all resources for their projects: Management attention.
- Project managers must understand that they are commonly as welcome to operational managers as road construction is to a motorist on a freeway.
- Project managers should not trust promises of “Best practices” or “Controlled environments”. Instead, they should develop situational intelligence, understand organizational dynamics and strive for life-long learning.
Good project managers are designated by the mastership of their tools, just like any other professional. Trying to cope with technical and organizational complexity without project management software will probably lead to failure. A project manager who uses this software without mastering it will definitively cause a fiasko.
- Experience is not a lesson by itself. It is a great teacher. Before we advertise ourselves by pointing at our immense experience, we should first ask ourselves: “Have I been this teacher’s great student?”