Success Factors

Free Yourself from “Old and False Truths”.

Misconception #1: Resource management is the supreme discipline in project management.

This often implies:

“The supreme discipline is reserved for experts, which is why we will only delve into resource management after our company has reached the requisite maturity level for project management.”

We believe this perception is incorrect and counterproductive.  

Our recommendation: Initiate with a practical high-level resource management process. This process should enable quick and straightforward team assignments in multi-project environments.

Projects should commence only when there is available capacity, and once started, they should be executed swiftly and without delay.

As highlighted previously, the most significant issues stem from structural overload among employees. Thus, efficient team allocation and resource management are essential from the beginning.

Misconception #2: Projects should be initiated as early as possible.

It’s a common assumption in many project organizations that resources will inevitably be unavailable as needed. Therefore, new projects are launched as soon as possible to meet deadlines despite anticipated downtimes or delays.

We contest this approach.

In our view, the excessive number of concurrently running projects is the primary cause of structural overload and the disparity between planning and execution.

Our recommendation: Adopt an efficient team allocation process to guarantee that resources with adequate capacity are available right from the project’s inception. This approach significantly speeds up project completion, allowing for more projects to be managed with the same team.

Where feasible, employ AI assistance to determine optimal project start times, thereby avoiding resource overloads across the portfolio.

Misconception #3: You only get good results if projects are planned and monitored in great detail.

Entire consultant industries have formed around this “false truth.”

Please don’t misunderstand: A project manager should definitely have a plan – it certainly helps to create this plan at the detail level too.

However, controlling and detailed monitoring of the detailed plan doesn’t help. Quite the opposite: It can cause massive damage!

Because such micro-controlling increases the effort at both the project management and steering committee levels.

Massively, in fact.

Because now detailed plans have to be constantly updated, checked, and plan changes justified and explained.

Furthermore, it leads to a safety buffer being built into every detailed task. In sum, this results in resource and deadline estimates that are two- or three-times inflated – which will pretty certainly still be exceeded.

We consider it far better to only monitor the essential key data of a project.

This includes:

  • Important deadlines and expected interim results by those deadlines,
  • Required costs, resource and skill needs at the monthly level,
  • Expected revenue or benefit of the project: the business case.

Give the project management the freedom to act as they see fit, as required and appropriate, within these key parameters. Because that’s exactly why you have a project manager and project team: To be able to respond quickly to unforeseen things – while always keeping the project goals and agreed key data in mind.

As long as the essential key data is not in jeopardy, it makes no sense to have the project management report details or even ask for permission for detailed plan changes.

Give project managers the freedom to decide for themselves how exactly and in what level of detail they plan. Definitely resist the temptation to check everything in granular detail.

And if you find that difficult, then we have a question for you: How often have you seen a truly up-to-date detailed plan for a project that has already been running for several weeks?

We don’t know what it’s like for you. We have never seen such a thing. What purpose would it serve to derive the key data from an outdated detailed plan?

Our recommendation is therefore: The key data is the reference. The key data is regularly confirmed by the project management and monitored by management. And then it’s up to the project management and team to implement the project accordingly, so that the key data is adhered to. Changing the key data should only be the ultima ratio.

The project management and team decide independently on the detail granularity and update frequency of the detailed plan. Monitoring of the detailed plan at the management or portfolio level should not take place.

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