Having seen many Project failures I came to an organisation where there were some experienced Project Managers . Some of them were certified PMPs and had worked for companies like Microsoft, IBM, Infosys.

I got affiliated to the certified kinds and came to know that there was an initiative to set up PMO in the organization. With lots of talks on Knowledge areas, PMBOK , tools and techniques I found that the only deliverable we had at those moment was a design of Project Mgt Dashboard. I was entrusted to design this. I went back , did a lot of research and came up with conceptual design solutions. This design had a set of portlets which were classified broadly as Must haves, Should haves and Could haves. Having done this exhaustive work I knew that we wanted somebody external to team to approve and sign a charter for development.  A couple of discussion with the PMO steering team convinced me that there was no one who will sign a charter on this . My manager however was putting a lot of effort on putting steam to this endeavor.

Realising that the sponsor for the project didnt exist, I immediately started withdrawing from it. He was taken aback by my sudden apathy. I had learned my first lesson of Project Mgt a little too well. Without a charter there should be no work that should ever be carried out. My  Mgr probably had forgotten this lesson and carried on with the initiative. A couple of months later and his numerous reminders to the senior mgt, he found that his initiative was terminated without THANKS.

I asked him why he overlooked this fundamental aspect of PMBOK ? He looked back, smiled and said- “I am glad This experience reminded me of it“. I felt glad that he made a mistake and learned from it. Pondering over it, I was thinking, is it forgivable for a certified PMP to forget this basic tenet that unless there is a signed charter from some body external to the project ,is it not a sin even to think of working on it. There are pilots who wont take off before a pre flight check , a Doctor woh wont operate a patient without his/her written consent, a police wont arrest a person without a valid warrant, an actor wont sign and act unless he has signed a script then  Why do Project Managers start a project without a charter ? Why do they committ this kind of sacrilege ? Why do they bring themselves and their certifications to disrepute?

Probably ,once they get certified ,they become a little too complascent. They do not refer to, recite their Mantras and probably this is proving to be their bane. 

2 thoughts on “What even experienced Project Managers forget

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