All too often, companies embark upon a journey to implement project management only to discover that the path they thought was clear and straightforward is actually filled with obstacles and fallacies. Without sufficient understanding of the looming roadblocks and how to overcome them, an organization may never reach a high level of project management maturity. Their competitors, on the other hand, may require only a few years to implement an organization-wide strategy that predictably and consistently delivers successful projects.
One key obstacle to project management maturity is that implementation activities are often spearheaded by people in positions of authority within an organization. These people often have a poor understanding of project management, yet are unwilling to attend training programs, even short ones, to capture a basic understanding of what is required to successfully bring project management implementation to maturity. A second key obstacle is that these same people often make implementation decisions based upon personal interests or hidden agendas. Both obstacles cause project management implementation to suffer.
The fallacies affecting the maturity of a project management implementation do not necessarily prevent project management from occurring. Instead, these mistaken beliefs elongate the implementation time frame and create significant frustration in the project management ranks. The seven most common fallacies are explained below.
Fallacy 1: Our ultimate goal is to implement project management.
Wrong goal! The ultimate goal must be the development of project management systems and processes that consistently and predictably result in a continuous stream of successful projects. A successful implementation occurs in the shortest amount of time and causes no disruption to the existing work flow. Anyone can purchase a software package and implement project management piecemeal. But effective project management systems and processes do not necessarily result. And successfully completing one or two projects does not mean that only successfully managed projects will follow.
Additionally, purchasing the greatest project management software in the world cannot and will not replace the necessity of people having to work together in a project management environment. Project management software is not:
- A panacea or quick fix for project management issues.
- An alternative for the human side of project management.
- A replacement for the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to manage projects.
- A substitute for human decision-making.
- A replacement for management attention when needed.
The right goal is essential to achieving project management maturity in the shortest time possible