Project Management

The Return of the Gut-Driven PM?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but at times in my career I haven’t always done things the way my employer wanted. I believed that what my projects needed to succeed was the ability to go beyond standard processes and approaches and to “go with my gut” instead. I’ve usually got the outcomes I needed, but it hasn’t always gone down well with the people responsible for enforcing standards.

I do understand that; processes are put in place for a reason, and consistency is important. But we all know that there are times when those processes don’t work well, and I have always felt that my job as a project manager is to deliver the best possible outcome, not to do things the same way as everybody else.

I’ve tried to hire project managers who feel the same way—PMs who are willing to push the rules slightly in order to achieve success for their projects and their organizations. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t want people who ignore the rules and do whatever they want, but I do want people who will question and push back if circumstances demand it.

In recent years, I think that’s become more acceptable. While most organizations still have standard methodologies and processes in place, there are often at least two such sets of approaches—one traditional and one agile. In addition, organizations have …

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Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.

- Frank Leahy