Projects Success is Not in a Book

theoryversuspracticesI know there is tendency to turn to a book or two or surf the web when trying to solve a business challenge in the project management space. Whether it’s a nice diagram that lulls you into visions of utopia or a theory that someone came up with because they are selling you on a vision of perfection, you should avoid the bandwagon mentality.

If you want to improve execution get rid of the people who are not executing, reward the people who are and encourage the adoption of the right attributes by new people coming into the organization. Hire people who have a healthy respect for the infrastructure that you have in place today who know how to fit in while introducing change and modulating the pace to allow for adoption and absorption by peers.

If you are on the front line make sure you take a step back and not focus on trying to learn some theory that you came across on how to improve the process. The basic old adages apply. Work hard, learn what was done in the past and try to understand what solutions might bring about better results for the company. Also understand that senior leadership is under pressure to show value and well sometimes if the shit sounds like its made up, chances are you are probably not too far from that being the case.

I have seen leaders who are visionary in action and others who are trying to implement what the book says or over reliance on mile high consultants. Always step outside of the situation and apply basic common sense in determining the best approach to a solution. Some times familiarity breeds success, don’t fall into the habit of tinkering for the sake of tinkering. Give the process a chance to work. Maybe it might become repeatable and you will be in a better position to isolate the things that are broken.

So get out of the books and the theory and stop trying to solve for world peace. Project success is about execution and delivery and not how many templates, diagrams and documents you can produce on how to do the work. Go ahead, close that book I know you can do it.

Categories: Project Execution

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