This past week I attended my local PMI monthly chapter meeting where Bob Baim gave a talk titled, “Predictive Project Management, Strategies for Avoiding the OS Phase” (Bob also has a book with the same title).
Bob (a very energetic speaker) gave us many examples of big name projects that hit the OS phase, and in many cases, they hit it again and again. One of his take home messages was that projects do not fail, processes do, and if you do not fix them you will fail, again and again.
The following slide sums this up nicely:
You see it is not all about the tools. To be a truly effective PM you need to be a people person and you need to be an expert in all types of communication. Reading the PMBOK and being able to quote the page number where they talk about the WBS doesn’t mean you are an effective PM.
“I think many project managers tend to focus on tools and techniques far too much, and not enough on the people aspects of managing projects. By far these relational aspects of project management are the most important ones.”
Final thought on this. Please keep in mind the people in your projects are what make your PM tools useful. If you spend all your time with your tools you will probably be headed to the OS phase …