Process is appealing. It provides structure and guidance and rules and boundaries. The challenge is that organizations are messy and complex. Projects are difficult. They require work and adaptation. You can’t just take process from one place, apply it to another, and expect it to work properly. You need to do something else.
There are few terms that have the same unbridled acceptance in business as “best practices.” Except that, for many organizations, best practices fail to deliver on the theoretical promise implied by the term. Best implies one superior way of working, where in reality there are many practices dependent upon many different things.
Deadlines are the organizational tool of choice in assigning work. And for some of us, they are a necessary motivator of getting work done. At the same time, they are often tools of petty tyranny that keep us from doing our best work.
I have long abhorred the term ‘best practice.’ What are labelled as ‘best practices’ often aren’t, or are only particularly useful and relevant in specific circumstances. The phrase is often used as a not-so-thinly-veiled effort at micromanagement, imposing the way someone wants something done through insinuating that not doing it that way would be in […]
It’s not the tools we use that are bad, so much as how we use them. We spend too much time explaining the past, and not enough time contemplating the future. Even when we do, we consider the future far too certain and predictable.
I have long believed that project management is a generalist skill more than it is a specialist one. In other words, project management is a way of thinking and doing that is applicable broadly, and it is expertise in the process—rather than the subject of the project—that is most important.