If you’ve got a project on your hands, you will need to plan its development by organizing the resources at your disposal. You will also need to motivate these resources and control them, to develop the project successfully. What you basically need is successful project management from the ground up to complete it successfully and as per your expectations.
Back in the old days, a person’s experience and expertise in most activities that are a part of the development process ensured he was in charge of the project. Today, this role is taken up by individuals who have undergone PMP training who are placed in charge of enterprise project management. But, this article is neither about enterprise project managers nor is it about PMP certifications; it is about the myths that surround project management. These are the myths that impact project development to such an extent that project development can go haywire because of it. These are the myths that actually give budding project manager sleepless nights; if only they knew better!
So let’s take a look at some of the myths doing the rounds around the world of project management.
- Just do it, Risks be Damned
I am sure you’ve heard of this one. The origins of this myth are unclear, but one origin could be the innate belief that the knowledge and qualifications of a project management team can take care of any eventuality. But, there are plenty of disruptions that a project is prone to and if you don’t have a contingency plan in place, these disruptions might be difficult to sort out. For example, there is a chance that a few of the team members fall sick through the course of project development; if you’ve not identified the resource who can take their place in such case, it’s just going to eat your project timeline.
Astute project managers are well aware of having a contingency plan in place if things go wrong. They are able to manage a project well because they have all the pieces of the puzzle sorted out. They conduct a thorough risk assessment of the project and know what to do if and when things go wrong.
- Facts Matter more than the Emotions
Yes, facts and figures are the life and blood of project management and facilitate informed decision making. But it must be remembered that a project consists of human stakeholders and they have emotions. Project management is also about how you’re able to manage the emotions of the different people working in the project. It’s about managing their egos, inter-personal relationships and their sense of camaraderie. You can’t deliver a successful project without the right mix of emotions.
- The Right PMP Certification is Everything
Yes, certification is important but not the be all and end all for judging the skills of a project manager. From the perspective of a business hiring a project manager, a certification is the first selection parameter. But, through the course of the interview they must also be able to judge the project manager’s people skills, nature and ability to work under pressure. If they are hiring an experienced person, past projects handled and the person’s performance on these projects must be scrutinized.
From the project manager’s perspective, just because you have a PMP certificate in your hands doesn’t make you a good manager. You’ll need to earn your stripes.
4. Project Management is Over Rated
There are some businesses that have project manager on their rolls but do not trust their judgment. These businesses are essentially the ones that are run in a hands-on manner by their owners. But there are also businesses that do not see sense in putting a project manager in charge of a project development process. Their thinking is, a project manager is over rated and not really needed for the successful development of a project. This is erroneous thinking at its best. A project manager is trained to get things done keeping an eye on the expectations from the project. They are adept at handling the people working on the project and they are well versed with the intricacies of development to identify and manage problems that the project will encounter.
- A Project Manager Ensures Team Members Deliver Value
Just because a particular project has a project manager, doesn’t mean the team members of the project will deliver the results you are looking for. The right team members with the right kind of qualifications are what work best for a project. Think of a project manager as somebody who is able to give direction to all the talent you have put at his disposal. You can hope to get the results you need, if the people who are a part of the project aren’t really all that qualified or talented. Project managers can polish the existing skill sets of the team members but that really isn’t their job at all.
Project management as a profession has come a long way since the time it first made its appearance on the scene. This has seen a consistent evolution over the years and the role of a project manager has become even more entrenched. Today, you can’t think of a project without a manager. But it’s important that you stay away from all the myths related to this profession and the manner in which they harm project management.
If you’re a business, you need to hire a project manager who can separate the wheat from the chaff and stays away from all these myths. As a project manager, you must be well aware of what a myth is and what’s not to take the right decision vis-a-vis your project.