Project Management

The Dreaded Comment Section

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Modelling Business Decisions and their Consequences

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No discussion of social media in PM would be complete without a review of the comment sections that follow social media posts, articles, blogs … virtually any idea that’s written down and transmitted is susceptible to readers who like to comment on it. I think it’s a fascinating dynamic, in that the people who read these published ideas clearly like to read, otherwise they wouldn’t ingest the material in the first place in order to comment on it. But, with (usually) a veil of anonymity, the level of discourse quickly becomes something you’d expect out of the pixel-generated equivalent of an unsupervised playground of 4th graders with IQs over 130. The comments can be brilliant and profane, insightful or completely tangential, all within the span of a few lines. It got me to thinking…

Meanwhile, Back In The Project Management World…

…what would happen if the sharply adversarial contributors to a typical news or political opinion (not much difference, sadly) site were to be people steeped in the Project Management world? Not the way PMI®/Project does it, which requires the commenters to identify themselves. No, this only gets really entertaining (and gnarly) when a level of anonymity is present, like so.

Scene: the comment section of a news story that cold fusion had been successfully attained, during an experiment at a nuclear accelerator. The commenters (well, most of them) are PMP®s, using pseudonyms, and they’re in a caffeinated mood.

Scope Manager (SM): What do you want to bet they were looking for something else entirely, and came across the formula for cold fusion by accident?

Earned Value Manager (EVM): What difference does that make? Whatever the Performance Measurement Baseline for that project, what they delivered is going to be worth it!

Communication Manager: (CM): Hey, what about those guys, Pons and Fleischman, didn’t they do that already?

SM: No, you idiot, that was fake.

CM: I’m not the idiot, you are.

SM: No, you are.

CM: No, you are.

Quality Engineer (QE): I noticed they didn’t publish the failure rate. This one is probably a fake, too.

Procurement Specialist (PS): If you think about it, if they actually attained it, but had to spend more in parts and materials than the amount of energy produced, it’s wasteful. I could probably buy a million candles to do the same thing.

QE: You’re an idiot.

PS: I’m not the idiot, you are.

QE: No, you are.

PS: No, you are.

Risk Manager (RM): What are the odds?

SM: Now that’s dopey. They did it! Computing the odds of it ex post facto is completely irrelevant.

RM: No, it’s not! It can inform future portfolio management decisions about how to most effectively spend research and development dollars!

CM: Bingo! The risk manager just put me over the top in “business jargon bingo!”

Anonymous Poster #1 (AP1): I hate Trump!

Anonymous Poster #2 (AP2): I support Trump!

Anonymous Poster #3 (AP3): I hate Brexit!

Anonymous Poster #4 (AP4): I support Brexit!

AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4: You are all idiots!

CM: All you anonymous posters realize that you’re commenting on a story about the attainment of cold fusion, right?

AP1: It would have happened earlier if not for Trump!

AP2: It happened because of Trump!

AP3: It would have happened earlier if not for Brexit!

AP4: It happened because of Brexit!

QE: Hey, communications expert, don’t feed the trolls. I would have expected an expert in communications to know that.

CM: Yeah, and I would have expected a quality expert to avoid using identical phrases in consecutive sentences.

SM: Guys, you’re still outside the scope of the article. Cold fusion, remember?

AP1: Wait, all of the people on this thread are project managers? Don’t you people just talk about “free float,” or “cost performance indexes?”

CM: That’s “cost performance indices.” There, fixed it for you.

AP2: We don’t need no “communications expert” playing the role of grammar police. Its not okay.

CM: Double negative, and it’s “it’s,” not “its.”

AP2: You %^&*( piece of #$%^!

Comment Section Moderator: Due to the profane and irrelevant nature of this thread, this comment section is now CLOSED.

* * * * *

It may well be that some topics should never be subjected to anonymous commenting. And, to that end, I feel compelled to dissuade GTIM Nation from commenting on this blog using any of the pseudonyms used above. This is not a dare.




Posted on: October 29, 2019 12:08 AM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Dear Michael
I sat now at the computer and came across this fun reflection :-)
Thanks for sharing

Very interesting article., thanks for sharing

But Hang-on ! Isn't this how the scope is managed in a typical project ? The scope creeps and finally no one knows what the project was meant to deliver in the first place?
This is Analogous to how the comment posts in a blog get quickly out of control and no one knows what the original topic of discussion really was .

Very witty indeed ! :)

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