Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Are Project Managers in the US clueless?

Did you know that most American project managers don't know what a project manager is supposed to do...

There is a culture of "bringing the project home at all costs" here that turns the ill-equipped project manager into a taskmaster - another role they neither understand nor are typically experienced enough to handle. This is why we hear from PM's that they have "all the responsibility, but no authority" and it's also why the technical staff loathes the PM's (in general).

A PM's job is to plan the project, define parameter for monitoring, monitor those parameters, take corrective action, and then communicate to appropriate stakeholders when things are not on track. The CMMI does a decent job of laying these things out in a sensible way (although it leaves lots of room for improvement). Another central factor is management's inability to understand and react appropriately when the project is "off track." For the most part, they are asleep at the wheel - not paying attention unless there is a crisis.

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