I just took a mega survey that supposedly was to help my friend. Originally, I thought that I would be simply writing a recommendation. Instead, I took a buzzword compliant mega form that made the SATs seem like a pre-school exam.

After reading through all the various terms, I wanted to thoroughly shove my head in a toilet filled with murk because that certainly would be cleaner than the garbage spewed by that institute. I mean, seriously, is project management that difficult? Is this the reason why large organizations fail? That is, because there’s so much BS created through this discipline that it forces companies to a halt?

I do see the validity of a project management type of role in large organizations to help prioritize and manage resources within a company. However, I think that the extent demonstrated in that survey is overkill. The survey honestly sounded like someone with way too much time on their hands decided to take this idea and make it into an overburdening discipline.

To me project management is like playing war/strategy games like Starcraft or Command and Conquer. Given some resources, you have an objective you need to complete with those resources. Perhaps, the only complexity that might be involved is the human factor of getting people to do actual work. But no amount of academics can ever prepare you for the incalculable number of personalities that emerge in the work place. And no amount of training can ever prepare one for the way these personalities can react to each other and the manager.

For software at least, I find this subject matter pretty irrelevant. I think software projects are more prone to succeed if you have software people working on them, including the project managers. I think it’s pretty rare to find non-software people being able to succeed in heavy technical environments unless they’re willing to delve into the tech side in creating that bridge. And certainly you don’t want to throw a n00b PM into a monstrous software project if they lack any technical background.

But it is kinda scary from my point of view where the whole PMP/PMI thing is being shown as this academic discipline. It’s just not realistic. Reminds me of the movie Aliens where they had the incompetent lieutenant Gorman who flew 38 simulated combat drops, but only 2 real ones (including the doomed one). If you go strictly by the book, you end up with a snafu like Gorman, lacking the ability to compensate because you don’t have the necessary experience to handle difficult scenarios. And god help you if you’re in a different cultural environment (happened on a project that I was on in Japan).

At any rate, this is a major reason why traditi0nally MBA programs wanted students to have at minimum 5 years of working experience. I think PMPs should definitely have something similar (not sure if they do; but if they don’t they better change that aspect immediately!)

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