This Guest paper is an update of an earlier paper published on the Internet in June 1999.

It was submitted for publication on this web site and is Copyright to M.A. Seely & Q.P. Duong, 2005.
Published here February 2006.

PART II | The Planning and Control Paradox | The Customer Service Paradox
The Project Leader Paradox | The Partnering Paradox | The Learning Paradox
A Supplementary Explanation

The Project Leader Paradox
(The third of five paradoxes)

... the leader must have the capacity to rise above the issues while remaining grounded in the project realities ...

The LML is an important component of the DBM. In order for a project manager to deal with real time issues associated with lower baseline tradeoffs, it is vital to the success of the project that a sufficiently senior individual be appointed. For MBV, this means the owner level (vice president or equivalent). It has also been established within the DBM that the project manager must have the appropriate project management acumen to deal with the project complexities. A situation where the sufficiently senior representative has not had the bottom up MBR to MBM to MBO to MBV career path raises a serious dilemma (see Figure A4).

Figure A4: The Lowest Management Level
Figure A4: The Lowest Management Level

At the MBO level, this is not an issue. Project managers are generally developed from the bottom up. MBV, however, represents a significant departure from this rule. The LML for an MBV (or above) project is generally assigned on the basis of a sound understanding of the business and not for his or her project management skills.

Without the project background, an inexperienced project manager is destined to start at the beginning of the project management learning curve, MBR, or at best, MBM. Imparting MBR solutions in an MBV environment can be particularly disconcerting for subordinate MBO and MBV practitioners. By the same token, trying to ensure bottom up project managers have a sufficient grasp of the corporate agenda can be particularly stressful to senior management, as shown in the lack of harmony Figure A5.

Figure A5: Lack of Harmony – bottom up versus top down
Figure A5: Lack of Harmony bottom up versus top down

It is generally at the MBV level that this detachment between the necessity for bottom up project experience and top down corporate experience becomes an issue. Improperly managed, the compromise tends to be a top down direction with the injection of project management practices that are not really harmonized with the work in progress.

The Customer Service Paradox  The Customer Service Paradox

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