Project Rule #2
Someone Has To Be In Charge
This rule shouldn’t even need to be written. It is incredibly obvious, yet it gets broken a lot.
If you are doing a project for yourself, you are the project manager and the chief stakeholder (more on stakeholders in a future post).
Bottom line: you are 100% in charge. Welcome the responsibility and simplicity of it all.
But not all projects have such a singular focus. On larger projects, with multiple stakeholders and implementation teams, it isn’t always clear who is in charge.
I worked on one project where there were four project managers:
- The Client’s PM
- The Client’s IT organization PM
- The Product Vendor’s PM
- The Advisory Consultant’s PM
When the project started to fall behind, against my adamant advice (I was on the consulting team) that they needed to pick one of the four to be “in charge”, the client’s management team appointed four MORE project managers. Now eight people were riding the project into the ground. It was ridiculous!
Even with all of these parties playing their role on the project, there needed to be a single person who could manage their efforts, provide guidance and direction, and ultimately, make the hard decisions that have to be made.
At the end of the day, one average project manager is better than four good ones who can’t agree on how to move forward. The BUCK has to stop somewhere.
Do you have any horror stories from dysfunctional projects due to poor leadership or unclear leadership roles?