An updated version of
a paper first published
in PM World Today, February 2008
©Randall L. Englund.
Published here June 2008.

Introduction | The Project Management Institute's Work | Definitions of Project Success
The Process of Project Management | Working Within Constraints
 Be Careful Making Decisions Under Pressure | The Project Manager's Garden

Be Careful Making Decisions Under Pressure

Many project management mistakes are made at times of anxiety, such as rushing the planning process because it looks like nothing is happening. Use information to relieve that anxiety. Ask how your customer or stakeholders will use project information, and negotiate a project management information system that provides the minimum amount to answer their questions and enable them to take appropriate actions. The same goes for project metrics, in general.

Beware also of the inherent benefits to an individual of poor communications. For instance, hiding insecurities ... not revealing mistakes ... not wanting others to know what you are doing ... getting more work dumped on you ... being the messenger of bad news who gets "shot." Since these "benefits" are everywhere, take explicit actions to demonstrate that you place greater value on good communications. Encourage people to share their concerns. Put effort into providing personalized feedback. Reward desired behaviors.

Be authentic in saying what you believe, and practice integrity in doing what you say and for the reasons you say. My colleague Alfonso Bucero constantly refers to his 3 Ps: passion, persistence, and patience. These values and practices become driving forces that command respect for you as a project manager and lead to successful projects. One practice for making better decisions or judgment calls is to think five years in the future looking back on this time. Did you do the right thing, something that you are proud of? Or did you give in to short term pressures? If you are authentic in your goals and act with integrity, you are on a well-chosen path, leading to no regrets. Persevere even when the pressure is on to act otherwise.

Working Within Constraints  Working Within Constraints

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