PMs exist because we want certainty where it doesn't exist and we have convinced ourselves PMs will give us certainty.
Part of the certainty problem is we want to know when something will be done. Ask teams to guess at delivery dates for products and services they've never created before and they'll use complicated calculations and spend weeks figuring it out, and it still won't be right. Ever.
How long does it take to have a good idea? No one knows. How long does it take for Joe and Phil to get a great idea, figure out how to make it work and actually deliver it? No one knows. Add in 10 other people and the complexity is suddenly insane. I don't care how many PMs you hire, we will still have 90% of tech projects fail to deliver on schedule. Not because the people are bad or wrong, but because we can't know what we don't know, and saying we know when we know we don't is not just willful blindness, it's as Jim McCarthy says, "being dumb on purpose."
Anyone who's done more than one or two IT projects, or has been a PM herself, knows PMs are symbolic representatives of our human desire for control and certainty. That's all. They don't make the project on time, on budget, less expensive or more likely to fulfill the customer's needs. Only team members who intend to do that can do that. A PM on a good team is successful by proxy. And if you've been seeking control and certainty in IT lately, how's that going for you?
We don't need more PMs. We need organizations who want teams that know how to be self-organizing, and self-correcting, committed to being transparent and honest and willing to be accountable for great products and services, not Gannt chart compliance. Companies that are willing to see the truth and shift their investment to great teams that actually make the product are the companies that will survive, jobs in those companies will be the ones we'll all want. They'll be the only jobs left.
Keep Up with TechRepublic