Project Management

Nasty Project Snafu: Rushing to Judgment

Bob Weinstein is a journalist who covers technology, project management, the workplace and career development.

It happens more often than PMs would like to admit. In their excitement and enthusiasm to get a global project under way, they fall into a dangerous trap: Rushing to judgment, not fully understanding the “how” and “why” of the project. The result is that the project’s outcome and goal are compromised. So says Terry Schmidt, president of project-strategy consulting company in Seattle. Schmidt also teaches project management in the UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program and authored “Turn Strategy Into Action: Strategic Project Management Tools for Leaders and Teams.”

Many projects stumble along in the startup phase and never really get off the ground due to lack of simple thinking tools that can be integrated into the mental models of diverse stakeholders, according to Schmidt. “The process should include defining what success looks like after the project is finished and the motivating objectives that the deliverables contribute,” he explains. “The problem is that mainstream project management tools weren’t designed to handle the issues and organizational and cultural complexities that go part and parcel with global projects,” says Schmidt. “It’s because conventional project management tools take an analytic rather than a systems approach.”

A major challenge…

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