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Is project management a hoax?

0
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Obviously, I'm not a project manager and that's why I'm asking such a question on a website dedicated for project managers!

I'm wondering if project management is a hoax, here's why:

- Projects existed long before project management and their success rate was better.
- Project management is just overhead that was initially introduced by IT managers to inflate their yearly budget (please prove me wrong on this one).
- Project management is "evolving" into "other" methodologies and these methodologies' only aim is to fill the pockets of those who created them.
- As I stated in #1, project management did not improve success rate, in fact, it made it worse.
- Everything that the PM does can be done by any employee, and sometimes in a better way.

What do you guys think?
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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I think you need to look more closely at the facts and history of project management before considering such statements.  What we consider modern project management came from public works and construction projects in England at the end of WWII, long before the existence of computers and IT.

Going back before the turn of the century, there are probably as many visible project management failures as successes, but some notable ones like the pyramids get more publicity and less is known about them.  Sometime Google the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal.  While both are there, from a project management standpoint, they were total failures.  In fact the Brooklyn Bridge was constructed over many years with starts and stops, and with costs that are astronomical by todays standards.  There was also an abyssmal safety record on both projects.

The same thing happens in IT.  The new enterprise software is there, but the story of 5 re-starts, added costs and time, etc. are not visible -- you need to dig deeper.

Project management is not evolving into other methodologies.  Kanban, for example is about production, not projects. So they are expanding the number of things that project managers need to consider, but they are not displacing project management.

I think you also need to look at statistics because published studies show that project management has improved the success rate of IT and other projects over the past 10-15 years and the success is attributed to improved practice of project management (not changing the prinicpals, just having more skilled project managers and more closely following the principals).

And I'm afraid your last statement doesn't make any sense to me at all.  I'm an employee AND a project manager -- I'm not sure where you are getting the idea the two are mutually exclusive.

So dig a little deeper into the facts and get back to us if you have any further questions.
answered 10 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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