PM Obstacles: Miracle Work

Vicki Wrona, PMP

Some organizations expect project managers to be “miracle workers” who produce results without the active support or involvement of leadership. And sometimes project managers are able to leverage resources, meet deadlines and achieve deliverables under these conditions. But it’s not a long-term strategy for success.

In this “PM Obstacles” series, we are exploring five common barriers that project leaders and team members face, and how sound project management practices can be used to overcome them. In the first two articles of the series, we examined the culture of firefighting and turf wars. The third barrier we will consider is “miracle worker” expectations.

When managing projects, the ideal scenario is one in which leadership is involved in the process. They participate in the planning of the project and demonstrate their willingness to provide support with any issues or problems. They are vested and committed, responding to communications and inquiries in a timely manner, and they evangelize the value of the projects to the rest of the organization.  

However, at times project managers are faced with the challenge of leaders who aren’t involved. Lack of leadership involvement can result in significant project issues. Let’s examine the characteristics of a leadership culture that expects project managers to be Miracle…

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"The industrial revolution was neither industrial nor a revolution - discuss"

- Linda Richman

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