Posted by tac_admin, April 1, 2013

The Usual Project Management Tips are Not Working

The following is a guest blog post written by Bob Kantor. Bob is a successful coach of IT leaders and I’m excited that he’s sharing some of his knowledge with us! recently published a great article entitled, “13 Tips for Keeping IT Projects Under Control”

All 13 ideas make lots of sense. Yet I wonder if we are looking in the wrong place for our fixes. E.g., a recent study on ERP project outcomes reports that:

  • 53% had cost overruns
  • 61% had duration overruns
  • 60% delivered less than half the expected business benefits.

I addressed over 100 IT managers on project management at ITRoadMap in DC last December. I asked how many of them believed that a large percentage of IT projects met or exceeded expectations. Only 3 people raised their hands.

Remember the old joke about a man on his hands and knees under a streetlamp at night?

A policeman approaches him and asks what he’s doing. He replies, “I dropped my car keys.” The policeman looks around and doesn’t see any parked cars nearby, so asks if this is where the man thinks he dropped them. “Oh no…” the man replies, “I dropped them by my car around the corner, but there’s no street light there.”

Many of our project managers today use of the techniques identified in the recent article. And many also have training and certification in effective project management practices.

With all our focus on managing projects, are we too focused on managing “work “, and not paying enough attention to how we engage all the individuals on whose day-to-day performance the project depends?

Are we paying more attention to “what” needs to be done, and less attention to “how” people need to engage with one another? I.e., are we focusing too much on the tools and techniques, and not enough on the “soft” skills of leadership?

Are we looking for the keys to project management success where there is a streetlight, and not where we are more likely to find them? I believe that is the case, and that the time has come for us to start doing something different in order to get different results.

Bob Kantor

p.s. If you feel the same way, I invite you to get a free copy of my book for IT leaders, about my Simple Leadership Life CycleTM. The free book is called Shatter Your Leadership Limits, and you can grab a free copy at

This link is also being shared with attendees at my presentation on Project Management at the IT Roadmap conference in Boston on 4/4.

If you grab your free book, you will also get my free training program called Lessons on Leadership. This 8-module program will help you quickly and dramatically improve your leadership skills. I promise!

p.p.s. If you act quickly, because you are a member of Teresa’s community, you will also have the option of enrolling in my online Simple Leadership Life CycleTM training program at a very special price.

This special price is being offered to the attendees of my IT Roadmap presentation on Project Management in Boston on 4/4. You can take advantage of the same special offer even though you are not attending the conference, thanks to Teresa. But you’ll need to act by 4/15…

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