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« Forrester Research Puts Emotional Intelligence At Top Of List of PM Capabilities | Main | Writing Two Books »

February 15, 2010



It's interesting you point out that senior executives are unaware of the existence of data like Standish produces. What I've observed over the years is a marked tendency for senior executives and hiring managers to see project failure as something that happens to "other people".

Ask a hiring manager what he wants in a PM and he'll likely say "a PMP". Ask him why and you'll likely get the response "because that's what project managers get". Challenge them further and you'll likely get a blank stare.

As far as the profession has come; as many large organizations recognize the value of structured project management...there's still a tremendous lack of education in the market as to why it's important and, once they've made a hiring decision, why stakeholders need continued involvement.

Through my clients I often hear the phrase, "well I hired a project manager...aren't they supposed to, y'know, just...deal with it?"

So to your list of lessons for project managers, I'd add:

6. When hiring project managers, ask for stories about how they influenced their stakeholders and kept them involved through the project. Probe for stories about winning over uninterested stakeholders. I believe it's very common, a substantial source of challenged projects, and a PM who knows how to deal with it effectively is a tremendous asset.

My two cents. :-)


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