Why Bad Project Managers Are Good for Business
You have just graduated from some top notch business school with your shiny MBA degree. You have been told that being the best in your class will guarantee you the best position at the best multinationals. What your teachers didn’t tell you is that there are a lot of hype and good marketing behind most University degrees. Some degrees will be worthless and your student loan will be waiting for you. Have you been scammed? Maybe, you have been told a few white lies but there is still hope for those who believe. When you come out of a business school, you get the feeling that that you are ready to become the best project manager out there. You have read the books, been there and bought the t-shirt. However, there is nothing that can prepare you for the reality of project management. Forget the theories and start living in the world of things going wrong for a moment.
Who is a bad project manager? That is the person who has an MBA, Prince I, Prince II, Prince III and Prince IV, ITIL and many more certification about project management that are not even available yet. This person loves the challenge of collecting papers to show how relevant his knowledge is. He knows there are people better than him but has a secret weapon called “kiss up and kick down”. This bad project manager will do everything he needs to be seen by upper management. He is a tyrant that will get others to do his job and take the glory. He is also an astute networker who knows how to shift the blame on others and will likely sacrifice his own mother to cover his mistakes.
There is also the bad project manager who can’t seem to see the potential danger of anything. He will temerariously accept a doomed project just because it fills up some space on his CV. There are also bad project manager who seem to disappear or take their vacations during the most critical phase of a project. Those are not the worst by any margin. Think about other managers who can’t plan to save their lives. These breeds of ghastly managers schedule everything so tight that a good project becomes a bad one because the manager seems to live in another time space.
There are also those who lack the fire to lead and will let the project get out of hand before bailing to another company or project. These bad project managers come in different shapes and sizes
Medicated Solution of a Bad Project Manager
There are times when the medicated solution is to remove a bad project manager from a project that is not going well. You fire the bad manager and you later realize that not even a miracle can save the project. Why do you think most projects go over budget? There are times it is a combination of pre-planned disasters. You want to secure that key project, so, you start with an unrealistic bid. You get a junior inexperience MBA graduate to fill the gap. You secure the project and you are ready to go but the problem is, you are not going anywhere. There are many reasons why projects fail and the bad manager is always at the center of it all. By the way, if a project fails and you are the project manager, it is your fault even if you are not responsible for the failure. You need a scapegoat in situations like these.
Why a Bad Manager Is Good for Business
Look at how much money goes into defense in most countries. People are often preparing for a war that will never come. Others are in the business of generating wars because it is good for business. When you have big projects like the Olympics, World Cup and more, you know that corruption is rife, which of course is also good for business.
What about the bad manager? Well, how many books have you read about project management? There are hundreds of books on the subject and the only reason for this is because there are a lot of bad project managers out there. Which inevitably means it is good for business
What about project management software that is often expensive to buy? These are supposed to help would be disaster managers to run a smooth faultless project. The reality is that a tool cannot save you from yourself. That said, it is good for business because it creates the illusion of hope.
The same goes for all the Prince Project management trainings and other ITIL trainings and books. They are worth millions per year in a bid to weed out the bad from project management. If these trainings are so good, why are there still useless managers? Because they are often based on standards that are supposed to make things run better but they don’t take into consideration that some people are just inherently bad for projects. That said, it creates more jobs which is also good for business.
Are some people born to be bad project managers? When you see what is available out there, you might start to think that some are genetically coded to be bad.