For just over 3 weeks I have been trying to sort out a real mess with my Broadband supplier BT. This has cost me lost time, lots and lots of emotional stress and strain and guess what, we are into week 3 and the problem has only just been sorted out.
I mentioned my frustrations to a group of people who attended one of our project workshops . I mentioned that I felt out of control as I could not seem to resolve the problem. The discussion developed and it was interesting when I asked how many of the group felt they were in control in all of their projects. Few said yes.
I have often felt that some course participants who come along to our project management workshops need more control and I have expressed this to different groups. This lack of control in projects is manifested in many different ways:
• having poor briefings about their projects from their sponsors – often not having the background to understand why they are doing the project including some of the ‘political’ background.
• project resources being pulled from the project despite the resource being involved in the allocation of time and the responsibility
• poor guidance on project priorities – project managers often report that priorities are unclear or seem to change very quickly leaving the project manager to dance a different tune
• poor internal processes ranging from extended decision making to poor or no project management methodologies
• poor project accountabilities leaving the project manager unsure as to who can and cannot make a decision
I know many of you reading this article will suggest that project managers need to be resilient, develop strategies to regain control etc. There are however many project managers who are struggling to regain control of their projects. Our project management training helps but does not give them back the control they need to deliver.
Always remember, you cannot hold a person responsible for what they do not control!