5 easy ways to NOT manage a project

Managing a project is easy, right?  Most Project Managers, would answer No to that question.  I thought that I would provide you with five easy ways to not manage a project in case you needed some help.

1. Don’t interact with your team

This is such as easy thing to do.  You’re the PM, and it’s your job to manage what’s going on, but doesn’t that simply mean having some form of diagrammatic plan that makes everyone think that you know what you’re doing and using project management terminology in meetings and emails (when you remember).  You can ask people to do things, in an email, or sometimes via a phone call, but you never follow up, because that’s not really your job, is it?

Team meetings, aren’t really ‘team meetings’, they are just there to tick off the boxes that say we held a meeting and people gave an update of where they are at.  No one is really accountable.  No one really takes responsibility and that’s fine by you, because as long as you can say you had a meeting and got an update then you’re hunky dory.

Oh, and the best tip here is to remember to only talk to one person at a time.  DON’T share information between yourself and others. It’s really not necessary.  Why on earth would you want others knowing what was going on!

2. Plan, who needs a real plan

The key here is to develop your project plan in isolation of everyone else on your team.  You’re the PM, you know what needs to be done and how.  You’re a gun developer, change manager, communication specialist, tester, who needs input from them.  You know how long it takes to test all of the new development + a finger in the airs worth (just for contingency). But on second thoughts, why do I need testing, it’s just a waste of time and money.

Your plan needs to look pretty, so make sure you pretty it up with lots of color. Oh and remember that you also need some form of fancy looking high level milestone chart so that you can show everyone, so that they get that you’ve got a plan.  [The dates and things might be completely off, but who cares, at least you look like you know what you are doing.]

3. Don’t question anyone, that’s not what managing is all about

Remember not to question anyone.  Whatever they tell you is okay.   You don’t really need to care if they are telling you that everything is running smoothly when in fact nothing  has been developed.  They’re telling you the truth, right…. and you don’t need to be really managing what’s going on, so why should you question it. Trust doesn’t really exist, it’s not something you worry about.

You also shouldn’t question when someone says that something needs to be done a particular way.  It’s really none of your business.  If doing it that way is going to cost more for your project, who cares, there is usually always more money available from somewhere.  If you need it, you’ll get it.

4. Detail, what detail

It is not important for you to know the detail of what is going on.  If someone is actually building a blue widget and your business case was agreed to build a yellow one, who cares.  A widget is a widget after all.  And as long as the budget comes in somewhere in the vicinity everything is fine.  You don’t need to consider the business requirements and if they really meet the businesses needs.  They are only the customer.  Not important.

The detail that you need to focus on is .. planning your next holiday, or deciding when you are going to take your next volunteer day, or how often you can go and do some other special work that isn’t related to this project, or maybe it is buying gifts for your family (birthdays coming up after all).

5. Scope.. you mean telescope don’t you

A telescope lets you look way off into the distance.  That’s the best place for you to be looking.  Don’t focus on what is happening in the here and now, that’s not important.  If you were supposed to build something that was a small square and it’s turned out to be six pointed stars, that’s not your problem.  Everyone else is doing their thing, and hey you had meetings and they said they were building what was needed.  The stars are sort of what was required, they’ll still be useful to someone.  Those business requirements made great props to elevate the computer screen, isn’t that what they were for after all.

Happy NOT managing!



Written by Karen Munro

*Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net