The nightmare thought is that  frightening people is the best way to get work out of them.

— Alain de Botton —

The illusion of control in projects

illusion of control

Some thoughts about project control …

Is there a simple way to define when someone (such as a project manager) has a project under control? Can we really quantitatively evaluate control, or is control in projects just a simple gut feeling with no real value for the project?

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Success can mean: feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do, sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect.

— TED – What is Success

Empowerment for project managers

Diverse People Holding Hands Trust ConceptI hear often project managers to ask for empowerment in order to be able to manage their teams. I also hear managers to talk to team members and explain to them things about their responsibility expecting that their “given per definition” empowerment will be enough to convince and motivate.

The word power has indeed something to do with motivation, but it is important to think about where is this power coming from and where is it directed?

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Comparing projects is impossible

Compare an apple to a pear (Proverb)Did we deliver in time and in budget what the customer wanted? If yes, then we are successful! Really? Compared to what?

Evaluation of a project with future improvement of performance as a main goal seems easy at a first glance. Nevertheless, the above short decision-making-process could lead to very mismatching results.

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Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

© 2016 Ioannis Strikos

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