Paper and bureaucracy is killing us...

“Two things that have caused pain in programme management. 

Far too many programme managers believe in bureaucracy and paperwork

Risk profiling and Gantt charts etc. 

Through this ineffective system poor managers can feel good, whilst good managers just waste time.  The amount of paperwork creates the image a company can do 100s of projects successfully and organisations can cope with an awful lot of change.  This bureaucracy leads to red, amber, green monitors, and when red shows, they recast timetables, review process and de-scope all because they can't cope with the paperwork.  Paperwork introduced by consultancies run all projects via templates.  They sit on the sidelines and impose bureaucratic mess.  There is a general lack of trust of project managers, so they are wrapped in too much paper work.  Why doesn't anyone fight against it?  No one reads the reports anyway.   So projects end up employing people who are good at paperwork.  How could you turn this around?   Focus on the greens, those projects which are doing well, look at why this project does well.  If you focus on the reds, the good people won't go the extra mile.   There is a strange psychology, bad project managers don't get the training and support and the good ones under promise and over deliver.   At some point the programme becomes a nightmare, a senior then calls in another organisation to do a review of the project, and they will suggest that you need greater control. This extends the programme by another year or so, back to more reporting.  It's a strange old culture.  There is a need for simplification, but large consultants don't want simplicity.  Project management has suffered because of excel or Gantt chart, project portfolio. Best project managers talk to the people, agreeing change, the focus is completely different from this endless reporting.“


2010, PeopleKatie MayerComment