Project Management

Project management screw-up number 1: Failing to address the right problem

In his book The Project Management Advisor: 18 Major Project Screw-ups, and How to Cut Them off at the Pass, Lonnie Pacelli talks about the most common pitfalls encountered in any project.

Each chapter of the book covers one common pitfall in a like format: - "How it happens," "Warning signs," "Turning it around," and "Takeaways." Seasoned project managers will recognize the screw-ups cited, but many new project managers will find the list to be a great review before initiating any project.

To get a taste of the book, you can download the first chapter, "Project management screw-up #1: We weren't addressing the right problem," right here on our site by clicking here.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


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Unless I've gone totally senile, my recollection of learning to solve statement problems in grade school sounded something like, 'First, you gather the information available. Next, you determine what you're solving for and sort what you have accordingly. If you don't have the right information for the question asked, you have to find it elsewhere.' I mean it was the 70s, but when did problem solving change? Define the problem. Determine the desired end-state then backward plan to arrive at your destination in a timely manner implementing the best practices for each step along the way. It doesn't matter what kind of project it is...the steps are the same only, as adults, we tend to look at the question first then attempt to refine the information requirements. The only things that really change are the methods used and they're implemented based on the type of project it is. It always boils down to the management ethic. If a silly question regarding an ill-conceived notion is asked, the answer will be proportionally ridiculous. In other words, if you want quality you have to use quality logic, materials and/or processes. Otherwise, we find ourselves engaging in discussions like this.

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