Cowshed Projects - Better projects and profit from flexible project management
A project managers guide to why project managers are rubbish and what every business owner needs to know about them .. pm’s look away now
Project managers (PM’s) are rubbish aren’t they. You give them a job to do and they get too involved in things they shouldn’t, they don’t get involved in things they should and you have to sort their mess. They create paperwork for no reason, but haven’t got the information when you need it. They just don’t do anything but spend a lot of time not doing it. Then the projects late, over budget and doesn’t look like or do what you wanted it to.
It’s frustrating! These are all common things I’ve heard about PM’s and accused PM’s of! Whether it’s someone who’s come through the ranks or someone with experience. Either way do you feel like you have to make all the decisions for them, like they just don’t get it and you have to step in to save the day! Would you be better off doing it yourself!
Here’s the thing … you would! This is your business after all, you know what needs to be done and why. You run it off instinct, you’re generally right and it’s got you where you are today. Then you got busy and it seemed the right thing to do. You needed someone else to look after some of the project management, there are only 24 hours in a day after all.
There is a tipping point where you just have to let go. This is also the tipping point where you have to become more mature in how you run your projects to succeed.
You can’t obviously look after everything and you need someone else to take responsibility. Someone who knows how to run projects and is reliable and can make decisions like you would.
If you ran the project you would instinctively know what the business needed, this is why you would defiantly run the project better than anyone else. You need to translate this for the project manager to understand.
Firstly, don’t separate the business from the project. Every project is different, but your business is why you’re here. The business and the project have to meet for both to be a success, don’t let them drift apart.
Secondly, if you don’t get off to a good start with outlining why you are doing the project and the priorities, people will either not be able to make decisions or make their own decisions and that is where it all goes wrong. Where people become rubbish!
You need to set the why and the way and then, if you have one, the PM adapts that to the project, not make the project fit the way…. And that is the skill you are paying for and the ones that can incorporate those business needs the best are the best PM’s.
But they will all be rubbish if they have to make it up for themselves, they aren’t you! People will have their own agenda and ideas. Understanding why you are doing the project and being able to explain it is the bedrock for a more mature managed company and project. It’s your company lead it, without doing everything!
So if your PM’s are rubbish what do you do?
You have three options.
1.Get rid of your PM’s, if you don’t have a strategy that you can pass on, don’t bother with PM’s, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Create a hybrid approach to running projects, where people who know the business all take some responsibility and muck in to run the project and you can make decisions when things go wrong. I know some nice companies that operate this way.
2.Get someone in who understands how to create the link between the business and the project and can help you implement it. I can guarantee you’ll see some benefits.
3.Take control yourself and work out a way to make sure everyone knows how and why your projects are being done so you can stand back and let them make decisions as you would.
If you want any advice on either of the 3 approaches, I’d love to talk about them with you. I’m sure I’ll learn something to.
And if your PM'S are brilliant, well that is down to you!
I'd love to hear your views, experiences and comments and if you're interested in finding out more, drop me a line.
Thanks for reading
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Hi I'm Simon. I've worked in projects for a while now, either management or design. I love projects but they're frustrating. Hope some of this help you.