Three Things I Hate About Project Management

Posted by Brad Egeland

Ok, hate is a strong word, but it makes for a catchy title, right?  I always tell my kids to not use the word ‘hate’ and here I go using it in the title of one of my articles.  I’m not setting a very good example, am I?  Well, it’s not like they ever read my articles…

So if I had to list three things I hate, er… dislike about project management, it would probably be:

  • Organization – the act of maintaining structure on an ongoing basis
  • Schedules – the act of sticking to a regular weekly regimen of activities that can be planned for and counted on
  • Dealing with resources – the act of being responsible not only for your own activities but for those activities that others under you are responsible to you for

What’s that you say?  I just mentioned the three primary things that a project manager has to deal with on each and every project.  I guess you’re right.  Ouch.  Ok, you caught me.  I’m like the old saying….”The cobbler’s children go barefoot.”  I’m not that bad, actually…but probably close at times. My wife has commented on more than one occasion about her utter disbelief that I can be so organized on projects and maintain schedules and be so successful at leading project resources and be somewhat chaotic in my personal life.

There’s no question that my ability to maintain schedules, deal with organization/clutter, and manage resources is much better in my professional life than in my personal life.  There, I’ve said it.  It’s out in the open.  I’ve had to work hard at it and it’s paid off in my professional career as a project manager.  I will say that being one who is not afraid to stray from complete organization and structure has definitely paid off in more than one crisis situation on projects.  It allows me to think outside the box when others who require complete and utter structure at all times can’t get to that point of thinking and will sometimes just go down with the ship because they can’t see the opportunity right in front of them.

What I’m really curious about is this… Am I an anomaly here or is this commonplace among project managers?  Nearly every independent contractor I’ve ever hired to perform work on my houses has had unfinished work sitting around for long periods of time on his own home.  So please comment on this….how many of you out there mirror your organized professional life in your personal life?  How many are a bit more chaotic and random at home while being well structured and organized in your professional life?  Be honest…

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