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10 Principles PM School HardKnocks Cheat Sheet by

Principles explained by real life experiences
principles     management     project     reality

Introd­uction

I loved this response by Chris G in Sydney to a posting "10 Guiding Principles for Project Manage­men­t".

Rules & method­ologies provide Frameworks to be used. Any as with any tool they can be used or misused. Unfort­una­tely, his observ­ations are all too common.

From the school of hard knocks

Chris G in Sydney says:

1. Business Value: The goal of all project work is to deliver business value.
Than­kfully this is a stretch goal as projects are typically the most efficient way to consume resources that would otherwise be delivering business value in an endeavour that is doomed from the start.

2. Judgment: Empower project staff to make decisions about method­ology applic­ation and trade-offs between scope, schedule, and budget when necess­ary.
This assists in scapeg­oating once any of these variables inevitably goes awry.

3. Enterprise Perspe­ctive: Consider the impact of project decisions on enterprise value, not just project or PMO object­ives.
Note that “enter­prise value” is a term broad enough to be totally useless – “project owner kudos” is a suitable defini­tional altern­ati­ve.

4. Shared Accoun­tab­ility: Create commitment to a shared vision of project outcomes.
The most effective way to avoid delivering anything – make everyone accoun­table so nobody stands up.

5. Stakeh­older Partne­rship: Establish personal connec­tions with stakeh­olders based on leader­ship, trust, and credib­ility.
Or the four B’s: Brains, Bulldust, Bravado and Balls.

6. Proact­ivity: Take a proactive approach to identi­fying and resolving project challe­nges.
Ahh, the forese­eable challenge – I think we call those “risks”. All good, but (alas) it’s the unfore­seeable ones that really F___ you up.

7. Risk Manage­ment: Enable informed tradeoffs between project and portfolio risks and potential rewards.
Moth­erhood 1: Yes, you should manage risk. Only problem being risks never, and I mean NEVER, result in rewards. Perhaps you meant mitigation costs?

8. Time Manage­ment: Encourage PMs to value time—both stakeh­olders’ and their own—when making project execution decisions and managing meetings.
Moth­erhood 2: Don’t waste people’s time (serio­usl­y?).

9. Cost Effici­ency: Calibrate resource use and project management costs with project needs and expected returns.
Ahh, this one is code for “I hope you have a hat, because it’s going to end up in your hand.”

10. Reuse: When possible, utilize existing processes and tools before creating or buying new ones. Except when a senior stakeh­older wants a new toy or change for change sake.

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