Does your project manager (PM) seem to enjoy their job a little too much? Are they whistling while they update Microsoft Project with plans for the organization’s ERP implementation? Do they bring in doughnuts for everyone “just because”? If you see these signs, you are witnessing something rare: a happy project manager.
Given that this is highly abnormal (and is very likely making folks a little uncomfortable), you may want to take some immediate action. Here’s a list of things that are guaranteed to bring a little rain to your PM’s sunny disposition and bring him or her back down to earth:
- Ignore Project Governance – Project governance refers to those processes that provide support for project sponsors, decision-makers and stakeholders. You can think of it as the PM’s moral compass. The best way to upset your project manager is to go directly to your application developers, order up some changes to the ERP system or implementation based on a random requirement, and “forget” to inform the PM. It may take a day or two to get a reaction but it’ll be a good one!
- Disregard Project Team Performance – Performance management ensures performance issues are identified and corrected quickly. If you ignore these issues, you can be sure that the project team will soon bear resemblance to the cast of 1984. But hey, PMs love herding those cats!
- Ignore the Project Schedule – Schedule management identifies project-level milestones and the resources required to meet those milestones. Effective PMs aggressively integrate the work of the resources into detailed project schedules, monitor schedule variances and recommend corrective actions to keep the project on track. If you simply ignore the schedule, you negate the work of your PM and you will be sure to restore them back to the appropriate level of grumpiness.
- Make Arbitrary Changes to Scope, Timelines and Budgets – Some of the most common reasons ERP projects fail are related to poor management of risks, issues and scope. Good PMs identify, evaluate, mitigate and communicate the impact of changes – if they have time to plan. So if you’d like to get under your PM’s skin quickly, just make a few random changes to the budget, compress the timeline without warning or tell them that the budget just got sliced 18-percent to pay for new iPads for the marketing department.
- Ignore Project-related Communications – Communicating the project status, as well as risks, issues and organizational change management initiatives, is key to keeping the project team and stakeholders aligned and on track. Just set the auto-delete function for emails coming from your project team and you’ll be sure to upset the PM’s applecart.
Of course, I offer the suggestions above in jest. I hope you see them as your PM sees them: guaranteed ways to torpedo an ERP project that was destined for success.
To learn more about ERP project management and how not to drive your PM crazy, consider attending Panorama’s 2013 ERP Boot Camp in March. Also be sure to read some of Panorama’s white papers for more information on ERP success.
Written by Bobby Green, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Solutions.