A colleague of mine and me often use the term M&Ms when

describing an IT organization or a component of one – as in “They are just a

bunch of M&Ms”. When doing so, we aren’t referring to chocolaty goodness but

the fact that they are mired in methodology.

You know what this is.

This is when a group has decided for whatever reasons that process is an

end unto itself. When methods are what

drives the work and not the product.

I see this quite a bit in government, particularly regarding

project management. Often, project

management is looked upon as a panacea and that it can cure all ills regarding IT

projects. So the organization adopts a

project management framework designed to launch the space shuttle and then

requires all its projects to fit this framework, both large and small – failing

to realize that your project management methodology needs to scale with the

size of your project. The result?

Projects that may or may not be successful but take forever to be


Want to know how to suck the enthusiasm out of both your

staff AND the clients of your services?

Burden them with unnecessary and/or over complicated processes and procedures

in order to get anything done. Soon you

will have nothing but a bunch of automatons going through the steps and clients

who refuse to deal with you. On top of

that you will develop a clientele that wrongfully hate all project management

and any other processes and procedures because they equate it with your inefficiency

and ineffectiveness.

Are you an M&M?

If so, it might be worth taking a hard look at your processes and

methodologies and see where they can be streamlined and improved. Make sure project management is not being

done for the sake of itself, and by all means – ask your customers how they

feel about it. If you dare!

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