19 Reasons Why Project Management Is Useless

Project Management Is UselessProject management will remain ineffective and inefficient unless the:

Project sponsor

1. Gives a clear project objective
2. Helps craft a well-defined scope
3. Removes project obstacles
4. Mediates disagreements
5. Supports the project team

Customers or end-users

6. Help refine the project scope
7. Convey their requirements fully and clearly
8. Avoid changing their minds frequently
9. Adhere to the change management process

Subject matter experts

10. Highlight common pitfalls
11. Help vs. hinder decision making

Project team

12. Buys in to the project objective
13. Identifies all required tasks
14. Provides accurate estimates
15. Reports progress truthfully
16. Delivers on commitments
17. Focuses on business value vs. technical features

Project manager

18. Recognizes that there is no “I” in project
19. Resolves issues and risks that may arise from the 18 items above quickly, efficiently and effectively.

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6 thoughts on “19 Reasons Why Project Management Is Useless

  • 2010-01-03 at 10:09

    Amen! And somewhere in this are surely the hidden agendas and deadlines that are set to meet other objectives than those of the project itself. Project teams that are tasked to meet unrealistic deadlines either feel the pressure or are pressured to cut corners are set up to fail.

  • 2010-01-03 at 12:02

    How about:
    – organization structure
    – culture
    – hiding high probability and high impact (aka severe) risks
    – awarding project to unqualified vendor

    I think the list may go over 119 not 19 !

  • 2010-01-19 at 17:22

    Isn’t Project Management suppose to help us deal with these issues (exect 18 & 19)? When any of the other 17 occur, our PM training should “kick in” to help mitigate the impact. Using “Project Management” effectively ensures the issue does not lead to complete meltdown.
    Claiming “PM is useless” when a project issues occurs is like a carpenter blamely his/her tools if the house is built incorrectly. Don’t blame the tool … blame the person who failed to use the tools properly.

  • 2010-01-19 at 18:59

    Iain, you have a good point. It all depends on your locus of control perspective. If you have a high internal locus of control, then sure, you will believe that your project management training will help you overcome all of those obstacles. In contrast, if you have a high external locus of control, you will believe that there are circumstances that are beyond your control—despite your best proactive efforts.

  • 2010-02-02 at 05:10

    All valid points. Maybe you can add the 20th point as the lack of certified professionals. Software Certifications board has launched a Scholarship program for its Managerial level certification, CMST. You just have to score more than 80% in the written examination and get a 50% refund on the fee. With this there can be no excuse for good skill sets within the team. More – http://bit.ly/qaistp Let me know your views on the same.


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