Guiding Quote

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Politics stupid!

Politics is the fourth constraint in project management.

It constrains the project just as much as the more publicized triple constraints of the iron triangle. In many contexts failure to manage the politics of the project, department, company, or client has cost more project managers their jobs than failing with any of the other three.

And Politics is the unaddressed subject in the project management skill set. Yes, it's mentioned. Every book mentions it, briefly. In most books the author grants it a page, mumbles something about it being difficult and dangerous and then moves on to the safer ground of calculating this metric or that ratio. Math is safe, interacting with people is dangerous.

One notable author, I won't embarrass him by mentioning his book, did a credible job on politics at the civics level, 40 plus pages. And he did advise people to read the 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene, but he then reverted to type and counseled them to "go and have a shower" afterwards.

Many of the leaders in the profession view practical politics like Victorian parents viewed sex; something that happened, but wasn't talked about in polite society and most certainly not in front of the children.

Well this blog will concentrate on the nitty gritty of the political machinations that project managers can and do face. It will not be a civics lecture the refers to some theoretical description of how things are supposed to work, rather it will tell what really happens. It might up set some people, but enlightenment cannot be achieved by assuming that everyone's toes are delicate.

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