We don’t need project management training, we have PM software!

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with a senior manager. He originally wanted some project management training for a group of around 50 staff. I explored the issues and possibilities and sent him some information by email suggesting a follow up.

When I called him back – around 10 days later; all change he told me. They were going to purchase some enterprise project management software. We don’t need any project management training was his throw away line as the software is so easy to use and does everything for us.

I can’t help thinking that the level of knowledge and understanding of project management in this company needs to be increased! The very thing he called about in the first place.

I could rant on about this however it does concern me when someone believes that software will do ‘everything’ for them.

Your comments?

 

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8 Responses to We don’t need project management training, we have PM software!

  1. LOL ! That is like saying I can build houses because I have a hammer.

    I see companies battling with smaller budgets and management that don’t understand what it really takes for projects to succeed. PM’s – that used to be engineers and promoted to be the PM “too” – are comfortable with tools and prescriptive ways to enabe solutions…..where you and I know that having a hammer just isn’t enough to ensure success with a project.

    This is a real challenge for us to deal with….so we PM’s (and PMI) are trying to help companies understand how to acheive success in projects. That’s why there are PM courses and degrees and certifications.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      I have a hammer … good point Donna!

      The education part is key and one I have been involved with for many years. Look at what is against us:

      Immature project management culture
      Manager making buying decisions when clearly not experienced at buying software
      Vendor promising ‘the world’

      I guess all readers get the point and I even pointed out these points – except point 2 where I suggested they employ someone to give professional project/ IT advice ( not me). Not taken up.

      Sometimes people/companies need to make the mistakes 1st! But, will they admit to making them?

      Thanks for the comment. Appreciate it.

  2. Andy Bud says:

    It would seem that most senior management think that effective project management is filling in forms and templates, therefore rolling out enterprise level pm software should address a problem. They are missing the point that getting results in project management is more reliant on the art and skill of a strong pm rather than the form they are asked to complete.

    I used to work in a company that had implemented project sever across the EMEA region, with about 90 plus project active at any one time, when I started to look at conducting gating reviews and or project audits it was truly shocking how poor the uploaded plans were. Tasks not updated and tracked, tasks not linked, plans that were only used in the planning phase of a project. If you ware trained on the proper things to do as a pm you will not do the right things

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks Andy for the time taken replying.

      I feel your comment and a lot of experiences I and others have faced shows a huge educational need for management. For me the issue is that senior management (as in the example in the blog) simply do not understand the impact that effective project management can have and if they do, they do not know how to get there. Massive educational need!!

      Ron

  3. John Greenwood says:

    I feel that the senior manager’s confidence that his tool will deliver adequate management of his projects arises from the ‘Dunning-Kruger effect’. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect) He is currently in that stage of blissful ignorance, knowing that there is a simple solution to his woes.

    It may take a while, but there will be an opportunity for a good PM Consultant to take on the remedial work that results from his current course of action.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Hi John, thanks for your comments.

      I must admit i have not come across the ‘Dunning-Kruger effect’ as such however when I looked it up with the reference you gave it all made (unfortunately) sense.

      I would prefer to support companies by stopping them needing the remedial work rather than afterwards…but hopefully they will learn!

      Thanks again John

      Ron

  4. Good point Ron. It reminds me of a conference I helped run several years ago. It was a big, multi-million pound event at the Cannes Congress Centre, where the film festival is held. We were inviting 3,000 people from around Europe and as we were only a small team of independents we decided to get project management software to help us. We spent days inputting all the relevant information and it told us that it would take a minimum of 20 months to complete all the tasks. The problem was, we only had 11 months before the event as the client had already booked the Congress Centre…..! Needless to say, we ignored the software and got some proper advice on managing the project which clearly worked because we won the Travel Industry “Conference of the Year” beating the biggest conference organising agencies in Europe (who probably all had project management software….!).

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks for your comments Graham. Common sense prevails however I think many companies literally get seduced by the sales people and forget why they need support in the first place.

      Glad to see you won the Conference of Year Award….the others probably did use the sofware.

      Best wishes

      Ron

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