Project Management

The True Measure of PM Productivity

Atta-ul-Malik is a seasoned PMO/portfolio leader with 20 years of experience managing global teams in delivering complex solutions.

Many organizations boast about their project management productivity. There are no shortages of glowing statistics thrown around concerning the number of projects completed year after year. However, a deeper look may uncover that productivity is being measured predominantly through a quantitative lens and not qualitative. The barometer for success is being measured by how many initiatives are completed instead of how well they are being done.

I feel this is a damaging trend permeating across industries. As long as project managers are able to complete the project in quick enough time to take on the next one, management is happy. What is being lost in this race is the emphasis on quality. The fundamental building blocks of project management are corroding because speed/quantity of delivery is being given paramount importance.

Often times, even the most competent project managers are left with no choice but to cut corners to please the bosses. For instance, if the quality plan calls for minimum of four weeks of user acceptance testing (UAT), it is squeezed down to two weeks. Open risks that should be adequately investigated and mitigated are being “risk accepted” for the sake of expediency. The critical phase of gathering business requirements is getting fast-tracked, leaving insufficient time for conducting adequate elaboration of those requirements.

This …


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"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers."

- Voltaire