There are many ideas about what project management is, with entire books devoted to the matter of defining this subject. Yet along with the reams of material about project management come many misconceptions as well. Here we take a look at some of the most common myths about project management…
1. Project management training will immediately lead to on-time and on-budget projects. This would be nice if it were true, but in actuality, putting this kind of pressure to succeed on any type of training program rarely works. Rather, it’s better to manage expectations carefully from the onset, first identifying where your organization will in fact see almost immediate improvements. And make sure any and all expectations are realistic and reasonable – because certainly, some improvements, such as those involving project delivery or cost containment, will take time as well as fine-tuning and adaptation.
2. Knowing how to use project management software means you know most of what you need to know about project management. Would that it were so simple, yet unfortunately, knowing what software is available and how to utilize it to its fullest extent is only one small part of the puzzle. In fact, project management software such as Microsoft Project isn’t even necessarily a requirement, relative to the need to understand key project management concepts.
3. Project management is only about people management. While project management certainly does involve knowing how to manage often diverse groups of people, there’s much more to it than that. And a charismatic project leader does not automatically lead to a successful project, not without the other tools and techniques of project management that are more likely to ensure a project’s success.
4. Only the actual project leaders need to learn the tenets of project management. While the leaders need to be those who are the most well-versed in the concepts of project management, there is much to be gained when all of the stakeholders are on board, from team members to subject matter experts to C-level executives. The more individuals that are informed as to the process, the better the outcome will be.
5. Because projects are unique, having common processes isn’t necessary. This is often an excuse used by organizations that feel that standardizing methods and procedures for managing projects is simply too much effort, or who aren’t sure how to go about such a task. However, any company should have as its goal the usage of common methodologies, viewing this as a form of knowledge sharing across the organization. Companies that ignore this precept are missing out on lessons learned, and will find themselves reinventing the wheel every time a new project comes along.
What’s one myth you’ve heard over and over again regarding project management? Leave a comment below!