Project Managers from Hell!

Leadership & Management

wrike
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https://www.wrike.com/blog - Let's face it, the Project Manager role isn't easy. PMs have to stay on top of a million tiny details, all while motivating a group of overworked people to deliver on a tough deadline. It's a juggling act that has spawned many horror stories. We thought it might be enlightening to tell 5 true stories — without mentioning names of course — in the hopes that you never, ever repeat what these Project Managers from Hell did to their teams. Read this and weep!
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  • 1. Photo by Walid Mahfoudh - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/38020543@N06 PROJECT MANAGERS FROM HELL! 5 TRUE TALES FROM TROUBLED TEAMS
  • 2. Photo by net_efekt - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/60364452@N00 Project  managers  take  on  massive  pressures:     staying  on  top  of  a  million  details,  while     motivating  a  group  of  people  to  deliver     on  a  tough  deadline.    
  • 3. Photo by illuminaut - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/21611336@N00 You  do  enough  of  that,  and  it  could  mess  with  your   brain.  You  might  easily  end  up  becoming  a…    
  • 4. Photo by Walid Mahfoudh - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/38020543@N06 PROJECT MANAGER FROM HELL !!!
  • 5. Photo by Ondablv - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/13549634@N06 The  following  stories  are  based  on  horrific  real  life   experiences.  Names  have  been  removed  to  protect  the   innocent  and  the  damaged.  
  • 6. Photo by x-ray delta one - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/40143737@N02 Story #1: The Status Addict“Is It DONE, YET?”
  • 7. Photo by x-ray delta one - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/40143737@N02 There  was  a  project   manager  on  the  East  Coast   who  insisted  on  2  daily   status  meetings  with  the   team:     • One  in  the  AM  to  dictate  to-­‐ do  items  to  everyone.   • One  in  the  PM  to  berate   people  for  unfinished   tasks.  
  • 8. Created with Haiku DeckPhoto by SLR Jester - Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/16549191@N00! Don’t  Be  Like  Them:    Stop  Micromanaging!   1. Allow  people  to  pick  their  own  to-­‐dos.   2. Hold  them  accountable  for  these  tasks.   3. Don’t  berate  them  for  missed  deadlines…   4. Instead,  help  them  overcome  roadblocks.    
  • 9. Photo by onkel_wart (thomas lieser) - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/26405526@N00 Story #2: PAPERCLIP INSPECTOR“IT LOOKS MESSY. REDO IT.”
  • 10. Photo by onkel_wart (thomas lieser) - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/26405526@N00 A  PM  was  tasked  to  prepare   massive  info  packets  for  the   press.  After  several   sleepless  nights,  the  small   team  was  done  preparing   printouts  &  assembling   packets.     At  which  point  the  PM  tells   them  to  redo  every  last  one   because  the  paperclip   indentions  made  the   papers  look  messy.    
  • 11. Created with Haiku DeckPhoto by SLR Jester - Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/16549191@N00! Don’t  Be  Like  Them:    Overlook  Inessential  Details!   1. Abide  by  the  project  brief.  How  does  it  outline  the     completed  project?   2. Deliver  a  product  that  meets  your  commitments  
 and  which  the  customer  wants.   3. Don’t  sweat  the  small  stuff.  Even  if  this  means   paperclip  indentions.    
  • 12. Photo by Earl - What I Saw 2.0 - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/61787893@N00 Story #3: The CODE COUNTER“How many lines did you code?”
  • 13. Photo by Earl - What I Saw 2.0 - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/61787893@N00 And  then  there  was  the  PM     who  didn't  have  a   background  in  software,  but   managed  software   developers.  He  judged  the   productivity  of  his   engineers  by  counting  the   lines  of  code  they   produced.  (Wrong!)     Though  he  didn't  stay  long,   his  exploits  became  —  wait   for  it  —legendary.
  • 14. Created with Haiku DeckPhoto by SLR Jester - Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/16549191@N00! Don’t  Be  Like  Them:    Know  Your  Industry!   1. You  can’t  manage  what  you  don’t  understand.   2. LEARN:  Take  classes.  Ask  questions.   3. Don’t  pretend  you  know.  Your  team  will  smell  it  
 a  mile  away.    
  • 15. Story #4: The BOTTLENECK“Only I will talk with stakeholders.”
  • 16. At  a  project  for  a  tech  giant,   the  PM  was  the  only  one   communicating  with  the   client,  then  passing  info  to   the  team.  Directions  were   vague.   When  they  were  90%  done,   the  client  decided  the   current  work  was  not  what   they  wanted.  The  team  had   to  scramble  through  all-­‐ nighters  to  meet  the  client's   needs  and  deliver  on  time.
  • 17. Created with Haiku DeckPhoto by SLR Jester - Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/16549191@N00! Don’t  Be  Like  Them:    Encourage  Collaboration!   1. Allow  the  team  to  speak  with  stakeholders  directly.   2. Check  with  stakeholders  early  and  often.   3. Provide  a  minimum  viable  product  in  the  first  20%  
 of  the  timeline  so  no  one’s  time  is  wasted.    
  • 18. Photo by smileham - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/58472333@N00 Story #5: MIRACLE DEMANDER“I expect the impossible.”
  • 19. Photo by smileham - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/58472333@N00 And  then  there  was  the   demanding  PM  in  charge  of   a  corporate  video  project   who  kept  telling  the  video   crew  to  "make  the  CEO   look  good."     They  tried  soft  focus,  special   lighting,  and  every  other   camera  trick  available.  They   spent  countless  days  trying   to  make  magic.   Unfortunately,  the  CEO  just   wasn't  that  telegenic.        
  • 20. Created with Haiku DeckPhoto by SLR Jester - Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/16549191@N00! Don’t  Be  Like  Them:    Set  Realistic  Expectations!   1. Don’t  expect  the  Sistine  Chapel  ceiling  from  a  guy   with  crayons.   2. Know  your  project  (and  team’s)  limitations.   3. Work  toward  an  end  goal  with  realistic  parameters.    
  • 21. Photo by practicalowl - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License https://www.flickr.com/photos/55046645@N00! Created with Haiku Deck! Remember:   Being  a  Project  Manager  isn’t  about  being  the  “boss”  or   acting  like  a  monster.  It’s  about  leading  a  team  to  create  a   product  that  comes  in  on  time,  under  budget,  and  pleases   customers.  
  • 22. 22 Level  up  your  management  skills  so  you  don’t     become  a  project  manager  from  hell!   Learn  how  on  our  blog!   Award-­‐winning  Project  Management  &  Collaboration  Software   Wrike.com
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