Advanced Project Management Pitfalls: Purpose, Not Process

PMI Alaska Chapter

Sean is the owner of Consolidated Business Services, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska.

Once trained, project managers are vigilant for the typical project management pitfalls: scope creep, gold plating, etc. Nevertheless, experienced teams still suffer from project failure. One of the root causes for failure on experienced teams is the misalignment of purpose and process. Here I provide an easy-to-implement, purpose-driven organizational methodology that helps eliminate this risk. Project managers who implement a purpose constraint mindset manage clients and outcomes more successfully without jeopardizing good processes.

Common Failure vs. Experienced Failure
If you Google “why do projects fail,” chances are excellent the first results will contain topics like scope creep, resource availability, poor planning…the list goes on. But easy-to-find responses rarely help experienced project team members improve outcomes.

This is the first of several articles on advanced project management pitfalls. In this article, I outline a real-world example of how a project management team refocused on the purpose constraint to create a win-win outcome in the face of a confrontational situation with its client.

The General Description
When an experienced project manager confronts a failed project, the investigation center on the facts—a sequence of events, metrics and processes. If the project manager did their job, the after-action …

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