Craig Sunter - Madness Is All In The Mind

At one organization where I worked, the CIO had seen something on the value of earned value. They brought me in to teach a two-day Microsoft Project class to their engineers without mentioning that this was now part of their goals. Every engineer on that team within a few months of the class was supposed to produce EV on projects that were two years late at a schedule performance index level of .95. The engineers had never heard of Project, had no project management background, and knew nothing about work breakdown structure or even EV prior to the class. EV was never mentioned in the class. Definitely one of those cases where management expected people to do far more than they were trained for.

In another company, Microsoft has given the client all sorts of free coding to create dashboards. But they have no valid data to feed the dashboards, so they’ll sit there for now. Compounding the problem, the company doesn’t see the need for training but still expects to see results soon.

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with a prospect who wanted Microsoft Project installed. And then he expected the software to create the projects and update them automatically without the project managers having to spend more than five minutes a week on the effort. Nor did he want training, process or governance. The software should just know what needed to be done. My response: “If you purchase a fancy stove, will it cook dinner for you?”

Photo courtesy of Craig Sunter