Guiding Quote

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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Project Manager Types - My Plan, My Crutch

Every project manager knows that they need a good robust project plan; that the plan needs to account for all activities. That is a given. However, there is a variant of project manager who is so besotted with their plan that they spend days tailoring it, tweaking it, polishing it, they’d feed it if they could! At the first excuse they are back in their cubicle working on the plan.

The problem is that these project managers hide behind their plan, or more precisely, they hide behind working on their plan. Team members rarely see them; the client meets them only when formally requested; they can be categorized as the project manager as a hermit. When given the choice of socializing with the client or working on the plan they choose the later. The result is that we have a pristine plan and a poor customer relationship.

One indication of this tendency is when you see them amending their project plan to account for the 15 minute daily team meeting! Attention! Uberplanner alert!

I once had to do a quality audit on a project and twelve months after the project start the project manager was still fiddling with the plan, it was still at the draft stage. Half of his team had only met him once. Needless to say I had to rate the project as troubled and request senior management involvement and a replacement of the project manager.

If you are dealing with this type of project manager you have to try and get them out of their cubicle. Organize meetings with the client and invite them, schedule more face to face meetings, only request status reports at the phase level, and get the plan finalized! 

Remember that "perfect is the enemy of the good".

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