For most of the past several years, Gary Heerkens’s The Business of Projects column usually has been the best regular feature of PMI’s PM Network monthly magazine. Even on the rare occasion that I disagree with something he’s written, I found what he’s said to be well framed and thought-provoking. We both approach projects from the point of view of their business value, and so it is perhaps no surprise that we tend to see many things similarly.
His column on page 29 of the new March issue of PM Network has just become available on-line to PMI members. Titled “Imposed Deadline Syndrome,” it addresses a topic I have found myself thinking a lot about lately: the fact that a significant portion of corporate projects are being damaged by the failings of senior management. The article states that “Many executives… tell the project manager what the best solution is, when the project is to be completed and how much to spend.” It then goes on to discuss the negative impacts of this approach, from the perspectives both of reduced business value and human cost of a team “trying to achieve the unachievable.” I urge all project managers to read the article, and, if possible, to pass it along to the senior managers in your organization.
I read the article this morning just as I was thinking that my next blog would be about the failure of senior management to comprehend what project management, and specifically project sponsorship, is all about. That will indeed be the topic of an article I’ll publish here later this week. But I also want to make the observation that it is no accident that Gary and I are focusing on this subject – it’s been in the wind. I think that a lot of project management people have found their thoughts turning to this topic of late. What are we going to do about it? That’s the next point of discussion.
And it is not at all surprising to me that Gary’s column would kick it all off in such an interesting fashion.
Fraternally in project management,
Steve the Bajan