Article - Top 10 Signs You Are a Horrible Project Stakeholder


Sign#1: You Never Plan and Discourage Others To Do So

Planning never helped anyone. Milestones and deadlines are unnecessary responsibilities and may cause severe headaches at times. Oh, and Gantt charts are for pussies!

Sign#2: Whenever Asked “When Do You Need This By?”, You Always Answer “Yesterday!”

First of all, this answer is hilariously funny! All team members and project managers especially simply love it! In addition it will raise your profile at the company as a no-nonsense, roll-up-your-hands-and-work-harder type of guy.

Sign#3: You Simply Love Having A Lot OF “All-Hands-On-Deck” Meetings

When inviting people always follow “the more, the merrier” approach. Are you planning to discuss high-level scope of the project? Get all of the technical team members in that damn conference room as well! Discussing detailed database design? Invite sales and marketing people; they will be thrilled to learn a lot of technical terms. Oh, and never, NEVER prepare an agenda for the meeting. Things will just sort themselves out.

Sign#4: You Never Trust Anyone

This especially goes to the estimates supplied by your technical team members. Whenever you hear something along the lines of “Well, I think this task should take me 5 or 6 days”, roll your eyes incredulously and decrease the estimate by 50 or even 70%. Believe me, your team members will come to love and respect you for your tough love.

Sign#5: Remember, There Are Always Evenings and Weekends

Always delay sending that all-important email containing a complicated change request until 4:55 pm, or, even better, 4:45 pm on Friday.

Sign#6: You Provide Specific Technical Advice At Any Opportunity

Tell your designed which colour combination is the most appropriate for the dining room. Find coding errors in your programmer’s script. Explain the basics of scheduling to your project manager. Educate your engineers about how to build ships. After all, division of labour is the thing of the past!

Sign#7: You Ignore Risks

Bad surprises do not happen on good projects! Scope creep is a myth created by those evil business analysts. Users always know exactly what they want and they never say, “Oh, and I just thought about this very important feature” in the middle of product acceptance procedure.

Sign#8: You Don’t Keep Meeting Minutes

After all people are perfectly capable of remembering all conversations that took place during every project meeting in the course of the last 11 months. After all, that is exactly what they are getting paid for, aren’t they?

Sign#9 You Always Agree With The User And With Your Team

Really, they are all grown ups and can figure their disagreements by themselves. All I am going to do is to convey the messages from one camp to anther with the following disclaimer: “Hey, it’s not me, it’s Mary from Accounting who insisted on this particular adjustment!”

Sign#10: You Always Introduce Unnecessary, But Extremely Cumbersome Features At The End Of The Requirements Stage

This approach will showcase you as a detailed-oriented and diligent manager. Oh, and also a creative and innovative one!


And what are your “favourite” traits of a horrible project champion? Please share them by commenting 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 @

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

  1. Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management 
  2. Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects
  3. Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World