We were looking back at his career and he was in a very reflective mood and he uttered the above words when we were taking about project delivery.
He went on to suggest that the problem within the company was that too many people believed projects were being delivered well and were delivering the results. He said this was not the case. Projects were over running (time and cost) and it was the norm rather than the exception
I then asked him what could be done to overcome the ‘perception gap.’ He thought for a moment and I paraphrase below what he said:
- let’s get rid of politics – not a reality so I suppose its let’s manage the politics more effectively
- honesty; I’m probably as much to blame by not stating openly that I was concerned about a project. If I am doing this, and I am a senior manager what about other staff?
- we do not have a PMO and I think we should have one. This would provide a more independent overview.
- make people more accountable. The annual appraisal rarely includes a review of performance on projects yet projects are a large part of people’s jobs within the company. Deadlines come and deadlines go….
- there is no ownership at senior level for project management – we do not take our responsibility seriously especially as we want to see real changes
It was relatively easy for him to say these things now as he was retiring from the company. I could have put him under pressure and asked him why he did not raise these issues before however he was needed; to make his retirement speech.
Is your perception different from the reality? Are people really managing the politics? Are they accountable? Is there any ownership of project management within the company?
Serious questions but what are your answers and more importantly what are you going to do about any negative answers?
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalimages.net – Ambro