I recently had a very interesting conversation with my much younger colleague. He is also in the project management field but has only five or seven years of experience in our domain. Bob (let us call him that) had his first interview for a PM position at one of the local government organizations. He has been subsequently shortlisted for the second round of interviews and called me up to get some advice.
Bob: (enthusiastically) Jamal, this company is great! I really hope I land a job there!
Me: (apprehensively) And what is so great about it?
Bob: (even more enthusiastically) Listen, they told me a story how they had a problem project that had all kinds of missed deadlines …
Me: (skeptically) And?
Bob: You wouldn’t believe hat happened! One of their vice presidents drove to the construction site and helped unload the trucks. He stayed there for five days straight to assist the workers!
Me: (to myself) Oh, dear God, please take me now! (aloud) Did you ask them WHAT they did wrong to end up in a situation like this?
Bob: (somewhat confused) Oh, yes … it had something to do with improperly calculated lead times … But, as they have indicated, that was not the point of the story! It is the “just roll up your sleeves and work hard” attitude!
Me: (sarcastically) You want my advice, Lord Commander?
Bob: (smiling) Yes!
Me: (using Darth Vader’s voice) Run! Run for your life!!!
So here is my question:
Do you think I gave this young man the right advice?
Please leave your comments below.
About the Author
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East. Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca
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Jamal is an author of three very popular books:
- Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management
- Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects
- Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World