Friday, October 28, 2011

I have a Zombie in my Project!?!

It is the season for Zombies and unfortunately they make their ways into our projects.  Zombies feed on processes rather than brains.   They think project management and organizational processes are like a cook book and they need to be followed.  The Zombies drag others down with their one way ideas.

Zombie protection kit:
1.        Get input from all team members on projects they have been on in the past that were successful and determine why it was sucessful

2.       Define what done means, or your project may never die

3.       If you have a process that is not working well change it

4.      Don’t feed the Zombie, point it in another direction to get it away from your project
So, what is Zombie PM?  Does this sound like someone you know?
  • They do exactly what they are told without challenging anything
  • They don’t come up with original ideas
  • They don’t suggest ways to improve the project management processes
  • They don’t follow up on actions – they simply assume they will get done
  • They update and issue the plan in a format that most of the team can’t read or understand
  • They work on projects that deliver no business value
  • They go through the motions of being a project manager but without any critical thinking applied
If this sounds like someone you have worked with – you know what Zombie PM is about.


  1. Project management and organizational processes ARE like a cook book and they DO need to be followed. However, changes to them should be welcome (in moderation--not every week), and those changes should have a value.

  2. William, you are correct. Moderation is what you need to keep in mind.

  3. Sometimes Zombies are good, the opposite of zombies are gold platers, those who add features that you don't want, and change the features based on what they see "fit". See this article on gold plating.


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