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Advantages of honesty in project management

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What are the advantages of being honest in project management? For example, if you're a project manager and you always tell the truth to your stakeholders, what are the benefits that you (and not your company) will get? From my perspective, all I can see is that being honest as a project manager will only bring you trouble (and lots of it).

Anyone care to discuss? Please explain your point of view out of real life experience, don't tell me about the PMI code of ethics (that doesn't work in real life).
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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Besides avoiding being charged with an ethics violation by an unhappy client or stakeholder and putting your PMP at risk, you have a responsibility as a project manager to maintain relationships between the stakeholders.  Honesty builds trust, and trust speeds business.

If you are having trouble with being honest, you may want to consider your approach.  Its one thing to be honest and saying "this project is failing" and another to say "this project is failing and here's what I recommend we do to improve or change that".

Many years ago I had a senior manager unexpectedly slam a report I wrote on the table and exclaim "this report is biased" (he was being perfectly honest -- it was obviously the way he felt).  I just sat there and calmly stated that I had reviewed it with my manager (who approved) and invited him to share how he felt the report was biased and what I could do to change that.  It got the dialog going again and at the end of the meeting, he apologized and accepted the report.

It is these approaches to honesty that build trust and will speed the rate at which your projects complete.  Business and progress tends to slow down when there is no trust.
answered 10 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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