Why Traditional Project Management Doesn’t Work for Professionals – Reason #487

I renewed my membership in PMI today, the Project Management Institute. Among the questions I was asked, on the way to supplying my $129, was, How did you first learn about PMI?

PMI How Did You HearLook at the list of options, a list that appears to be 200+ items long. (I scrolled all the way down to see. I do this stuff so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.)

Who is actually going to page through all that — except someone without a life, or perhaps an obsessive project manager who cannot distinguish the inconsequential from the important?

A project manager with infinite time can afford to be infinitely obsessive. The rest of us must pick and choose. Good project managers evaluate risks and priorities quickly but thoughtfully. Just as they must focus on the risks with the biggest exposure rather than treat each one equally, so they must focus on prioritized tasks as well.

Scrolling through a list of 200 items to fill out a piece of inconsequential info isn’t something good project managers are likely to prioritize.

The worst part is that some project manager probably did a traditional requirements-gathering gig around this website. Hard work, but no understanding of real needs, or user (client, customer) behavior.

Oh, I also encountered reason #488 before I could give them my money. The credit card they had on file had reached its expiration date. So what does a user most likely want to do at this point?

Right. Update the expiration date. Card companies don’t normally change the card number when they send a new piece of plastic with a new date.

But of course this site had no option for updating the info. I had to enter everything again. Not a big chore, but unnecessary and user-unfriendly. Again, some project manager went out to gather requirements, and missed a blindingly obvious one.

I wish I could say this type of bad project management was rare. But in the real world, it is anything but.

PMI should be embarrassed by the way their site demonstrates a lack of effective project management.

The good news – you don’t have to work like this. Becoming an effective legal project manager is not hard. Indeed, one of the reasons I teach seminars and write books and articles is to improve the level of project management in the professional world.

Let me teach you and others in your practice how to perform effective Legal Project Management.

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