Project Management Myths Debunked

Filed under Grab Bag | Posted by PMStudent

Oh yes, let’s have fun with this one, shall we?

I want your myths in the comments, bucko!

Good Project Managers Make All Decisions By Themselves

While it’s true that project managers do have to make the final decisions in many cases on a daily basis, we certainly should not make them by ourselves. We utilize a portion of our daily stand-up meetings on my teams for discussion topics. These can be technical decisions or issues someone has run into which need to be addressed, or sometimes it’s just a new idea someone had about how to make our product better.

There are cases where I ask various individuals what they think and then make a decision, and other cases where I can delegate the decision to a team member or lead. Whenever possible, I like to have the team make their own decisions and not rely on me for this. Intelligent empowerment makes for a better team and a better end product.

Good Project Managers Deal With Problems Themselves

There is an ironic reality in which the more you fear failure, the more likely you are to fail. I’ve seen project managers try to cover up problems many times, and I’ve even done it myself. But that’s not a good way to run a project. The more open and transparent you can be with everyone, the better your chances of success. This is because you build trust by being open and honest, and you get help from other players when you need it.

Good Project Managers Are Control Freaks

Many have the image of a project manager as being a micro-managing control freak. Scheduling down to the nth degree is the best possible schedule, right?


I think the best project managers I’ve worked with do the exact opposite. They let the team manage their workflow and concern themselves mainly with interfaces to other teams or dependencies of some sort. I think project managers should be just another participant on the team when it comes to managing the day-to-day workflow of the team, unless the team runs into a problem and asks for help. For example, sometimes team members may have difficulty making a priority call about what to work on next. The project manager (or product owner if you are doing Scrum) can help by prioritizing items in the backlog this way.

Good Project Managers Make Projects More Complex
In my experience, this happens when the models of the project (WBS, schedule, etc.) do not accurately reflect reality. There certainly are cases where the project really IS that complex too. I think the best project managers are able to employ the least amount of complexity in project planning and execution artifacts as is possible and responsible.

If every one of your stakeholders can’t look at each and every project artifact and understand it intuitively, it’s too complex.

So, what project management myths would you like to debunk in the comments? I’m excited to see them!


59 thoughts on “Project Management Myths Debunked

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He is in fact an Alawite a sect whom the traditional Asna Ashari Shia consider asdifferent from them similar to their categorization of the Agha Khanis More importantly Assad??s politics like those of his father are Secular- BaathistWhy did the US and Israel act this wayIsrael does not tolerate any opposition or potential threat in its neighborhood It has neutralized Jordan Egypt Iraq and Saudi Arabia (with US help after the Iraq war) and is now going after Syria Hezbollah and Iran (again with US help)It shares a direct border with Syria and captured the Golan Heights after the 1967 six day war and later annexed it in 1981 and started building settlements there which gives it a vantage point over the valley In the past also Israel has taken unilateral action against Syria when it bombed a suspected nuclear site in Syria in an operation called ??Operation Orchard?? in 2007 as it did Iraq??s nuclear reactor in an operation called ??Operation Babylon?? in June 1981Hezbollah has challenged the Israeli might many times starting with the attack on Israeli forces occupying Lebanon and its Phalangist allies in the early eighties More recently in 2006 they started a conflict with Israel (by kidnapping an Israeli soldier) to relieve pressure on the Gaza strip and Hamas who were at that time facing a massive onslaught from the IsraelisIsrael has always accused Hezbollah and Iran for supplying arms to Hamas Please note Hezbollah is Shia and Hamas Sunni In this particular conflict between the Israelis and Hezbollah it may be recalled that after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was stopped in its steps by Hezbollah and the Israelis suffered major losses there was a Saudi Fatwa which stated that Hezbollah should not be supported since it was Shia Why I ask when the Shia Hezbollah had got involved just to help the Sunni HamasRelations between the US and Iran changed from being friendly to very bad when during the initial years of the Iranian revolution the Iranians stormed the US embassy and took all embassy staff hostage They improved a little under subsequent regimes However dropped to a low again when ex-President Ahmed e Nijad ill advisedly unleashed a tirade against Israel and questioned whether the Jewish Holocaust in Germany took place or notThis was pointless and inflammatory talk Nazi Germany??s killing of the Jews and other minorities is well documented It should be condemned The creation of Israel in Arab lands by the western powers was not a fair resolution of the Jewish problem in Europe It created another problem However Israel is a fact and its immediate neighbors like Jordan and Egypt recognize it The whole world is trying to make the best of a bad situation and set up two independent States one for Israel and one for the Palestinians This appears at this time to be the best second best solution and hope for peace in the areaHowever by the ill-advised tirade against Israel Ahmed- e- Nijad gave Israel the perfect opportunity to paint Iran as an existentialist threat to Israel This was very much like the Hamas attacks byminuscule rockets from Gaza into Israel which caused no great damage on the Israeli side but resulted in many massive invasions of the Gaza strip and whole scale destruction and loss of life To top it all this has been supported by the US by saying that Israel has the right to defend itselfAhmed I Nijad??s speeches were compounded by Iran??s stated intention to develop Nuclear technology even though they say categorically that this technology is going to be used only forpeaceful purposes and the clerics have issued a fatwas that the production of Nuclear bombs fro offensive purposes is ??Haram?? Also note that the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty ( NPT) to which Iran is a signatory does not forbid it to produce Uranium required for power generation as long as the enrichment levels are much lower than those required for nuclear bombs ( I think the numbers are 20-30 % enrichment for power and _ 98 % for nuclear bombs)However unfortunately Muslims have fallen into the trap and shaped the Syrian conflict into a Shia Sunni sectarian clash since Hezbollah and Iran are helping the SyriansGiven the present situation Iran will cooperate with anybody in the area including the devil to counter the Israeli and US pressure At this time this happens to be Syria and Hezbollah of whichthe latter happens to be Shia and the former a despot Iran also promotes friendship with Venezuela to counter the US pressure on its oil-marketsThe way out of this is to convince the people in the Sunni countries that this is NOT a conflict against the SUNNIS in Syria by a Shia regime Assad is a secular Baathist and not even a Shia Saddam was also a secular Baathist and not much of a Muslim or a Sunni He suppressed everybody from whom he feared opposition This included the Shias who were a majority in the country and could become a threat and the Sunni Kurds who wanted a separate identity from ArabsBoth Assad and Saddam were/ are bad people when it comes to their relations with their people But his is not why Israel and US oppose them Many other rulers in the Middle east are not much better The Shah of Iran was a despot but had diplomatic relations with Israel and at that time Iran was not considered a rogue StateThe point is that Israel and the US would have still fought Saddam and Assad if they were good people Iraq was a good friend of the West until such time that they required Iraq to put down Iran I remember clearly that within two weeks of the end of the Iran Iraq war The Washington Post started publishing reports saying that Iraq was the real potential threat to Israel and they acted quickly to take care of this threat under the two Presidents Bush I and II Please note thatin Iraq in the aftermath of the Iraq war true to Muslim form Al Qaeda and the Mahdi militia started killing each other??s co-religionists and the killing continues to this dayThis is the point that the Muslim countries in the area need to understand They need to emphasize to their peoples that this is not a Shia-Sunni conflict They should try to get Assad to relax his hold and become less repressive otherwise he will go the way of Saddam This may not be bad by itself but what saddens me immensely is that by the time this happens a serious divide may be created among the Muslim people and result in many innocent lives being lost and peoplebeing slaughtered in the name of ??the correct version of Islam?? to Syria Lebanon and Iran going down the road of a Sunni-Shiite (shia) conflict.

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