Dear project manager, you suck.

Filed under Leadership | Posted by PMStudent


Pawel wrote an interesting blog post titled How to Suck as a Project Manager that sparked this topic for ?me. ?In that post, Pawel spoke specifically about how keeping procedures is the least important part of the project manager’s role. ?I have found this to be true as well.

I know many people who believe the “Monitoring & Controlling” parts of project management are the real meat of managing projects. ?It’s a piece, but a rather small one in the big scheme of things.

So here is my attempt at a list of attributes you may want to avoid as a project manager. ?Please leave a comment and add one of your own!

The Enforcer

Rules, rules, rules.

As Pawel wrote about, the most important thing to you is that people are following the rules. ?You may refuse to take action unless someone documents a new process, because without something written down we are powerless. ?You care more about whether team members are 5 minutes late in the morning than how effective and valuable they are. ?The question of value is secondary, process is primary to you.

If people aren’t following the process, your first inclination may be to add a few extra steps to that process so that people will follow it better. ?FAIL

The Modeler

You tend to think the schedules and plans ARE the project instead of just an imperfect model. ?You would much rather have reality conform to previous plans than change your plans in adjustment to reality.

Spreadsheets and scheduling tools are your life. ?You are very comfortable playing with these models and will massage and tweak them constantly. ?This activity takes up most of your day.

Templates are very important to you, to a pathological level. ?VERY IMPORTANT. ?Everything must be started from a template, and everyone must be using consistent templates.

The Pushover

You react to the world as if things happen “to” you and your project. ?Hands get thrown up in the air very quickly when unexpected changes occur. ?In some ways you are the opposite of The Enforcer because you will not give feedback or take action to ensure that people do follow the rules which add value.

You will be prone to “fitting in” extra scope from the customer without making sure there is additional money and/or time to carry it out. ?Standing up to “the man” on behalf of your team isn’t something you feel comfortable doing.

The Emailer

You really love email, even though you may say you hate it. ?Every whim you wish to communicate ?makes you click “new” in the email program so you can broadcast the good word to everyone.

Perhaps a few minutes after you’ve clicked “send” you realize the message could have been discussed in the team meeting, or you could have just walked over and chatted with someone for a few minutes.

But you probably won’t.

No, the great thing about email is that you can always search through and find a message from 2 years ago and say “See, I told you so! ?I communicated this to you clearly right here. ?26th paragraph down, you couldn’t miss it!”

What are you waiting for? ?Add your own below!