4 PM Anti-Patterns

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4 patterns in project management that can have bitter consequences. I share a bit of my experience with tricks I use to see trouble coming, commonly referred to as anti-patterns. Nothing revolutionary …

4 patterns in project management that can have bitter consequences. I share a bit of my experience with tricks I use to see trouble coming, commonly referred to as anti-patterns. Nothing revolutionary but definitely not the same list you'll find on wikipedia.

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  • 1. PM Anti-Patterns @bertheymans - Barcamp VRT Jan 21, 2012
  • 2. experience is something you don't get until just after you need it - Steven Wright (stand-up comedian) disclaimer: experience actually comes from doing things that are a bit harder than the other things you already did in your life
  • 3. memories; they're the only things you have to think back on... - Reddit user Phlux
  • 4. those who can not remember the past are doomed to repeat it - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
  • 5. people suck at learning from past mistakes but we don't have to
  • 6. @bertheymans 8 years of online and mobile projects, writes down stuff I hope I can help you recognise a few anti-patterns
  • 7. The Anti-Patterns 1. Fighting Visual Priority 2. Black Hole Planning 3. Is That a Triangle In Your Pants? (or are you just happy to see the budget) 4. Delegation without Authority
  • 8. Project Management Anti-Pattern #1 Fighting Visual Priority
  • 9. The Stroop effect
  • 10. Out of scope: - Facebook integration, any kind - Video, any kind - Search functionality
  • 11. ● don't put visuals in contracts ● be there to explain a graphic in words ● be complete with diagrams, don't leave essentials out ● brief designers on functional requirements and do a functional internal review before presenting to the client Preventing PM Anti-Pattern #1 Fighting Visual Priority
  • 12. Associated Popular Anti-patterns ● Throw it over the Wall passing on responsibility between groups as a result of too little communication ● Smoke and Mirrors pretending something already exists ● Mushroom Management intentionally keeping people in the dark
  • 13. Project Management Anti-Pattern #2 Black Hole Planning
  • 14. ignoring project fade-out in planning (let’s crunch that planning as if it was Christmas and ignore maintenance or bug solving time entirely)
  • 15. especially look out for this anti-pattern in a shared resource environment where projects compete for resources
  • 16. I like agile!
  • 17. but some projects only get this kind of resource planning authorized ...
  • 18. What could possibly ever happen after the deadline, nothing right?!
  • 19. in web consultancy projects this happens all.the.time possible causes: ● low budget doesn't allow for iterations ● agile is not part of the culture ● bottleneck skills in production team don't allow for people to stay with a project ● a maintenance or operations group is expected to help out after delivery
  • 20. ● distribute a bit of your budget for small fixes after the deadline in your planning request Preventing PM Anti-Pattern #2 Black Hole Planning etc. etc.
  • 21. ● agree on a tolerance with the client for work that has not yet been defined ● defend additional resource time early on (don't add or switch people if you don't have to) ● if you have the budget for it, don't plan for waterfall, define an approach with iterations Preventing PM Anti-Pattern #2 Black Hole Planning
  • 22. Associated Popular Anti-Patterns ● Waterfall model: organizational model that ignores change ● Molar hazard: insulating the decision-maker from the consequences of his or her decision ● Silos or Stovepipe: structure preventing cross organisation communication
  • 23. Project Management Anti-Pattern #3 Is That a Triangle in Your Pants?
  • 24. I was going to call this anti-pattern Quality Cover-up but it sounded too boring
  • 25. expecting or pretending budget can be a substitute of required time for delivering quality
  • 26. The Triple Constraints
  • 27. The "Pick Any Two" Diagram fast and good, but expensive makes sense right?
  • 28. the triple constraint model can not be applied in a situation where quality comes from invested time PMI took it out of the PMBOK for a reason
  • 29. if 1 Time == 1 Quality we'll end up with this ... ... low quality despite of a high budget
  • 30. just crunching a schedule is not a model
  • 31. ● respect estimations ● balance risk and resources together with cost and quality ● defend time by illustrating risk and the impact on resources Preventing PM Anti-Pattern #3 ITATIYP aka Quality Cover-up
  • 32. Associated Popular Anti-Patterns ● adding people to a late project only makes it later ● Death march everybody knows the result is going to be bad except the sponsor
  • 33. Project Management Anti-Pattern #4 Delegation without Authority
  • 34. expecting people to implicitly have the same authority as you have
  • 35. I thought I wasn't allowed to call the client
  • 36. I don't have that contact information
  • 37. Actually I didn't see those files just until now, I don't have permission to see them on my machine
  • 38. sometimes you may need to go through all the red tape, don't underestimate this
  • 39. ● think about what authorization is required for a job and explain to the one you're giving the work to ● don't be(come) the bottleneck (don't tell people they're allowed to do something, but always see you beforehand or report all actions) Preventing PM Anti-Pattern #4 Delegation without Authority
  • 40. @bertheymans JourneymanPM.com Heymans.org