Question 3 - Handling Too Many Projects
RM: There's a reference in some of your musings that when a PM takes on too many projects, they all suffer. What strategies would you recommend to aspiring PM professionals on how to handle multiple projects? How would you handle situations where the Executive Management put equal importance and urgency on all projects and are perhaps unwilling to invest in more management personnel?
MW: In my view, the role of project manager, when given a project, he or she must stand up and take charge and must make that clear to all concerned. Don't stand for any overloading whatever. Depending on the type and size of projects involved, I suggest that the maximum of three real projects is the limit. If, however, they are not real projects and by that I mean responsibility for all of scope, quality, time, cost and risk either refuse them outright, or delegate them to someone else.
If none of that works, then quit. Yes, quit. You will be better off somewhere else where management has a better understanding of project management and provides the necessary support in the first place.