Blame and Excuses

“It’s like they fight all the time,” Sheldon explained. “Each manager thinks they know how to run the whole company, if I would just step out of the way.”

“What’s happening, explain the friction?” I asked.

“Once again, the project was late and when it was delivered to the client, it didn’t work. Pretty simple explanation. It’s the fix that’s complicated. When we only did one project at a time, everything seemed to work well. On time, on budget, never missed a beat. Then we got two projects, three. We now have seven projects in-house and they all have problems, missed deadlines, cost overruns and quality issues.”

“And?”

“The project manager is ripping his hair out. The response he is getting from all the other managers is a mix of blame and excuses,” Sheldon shrugged.

“What do they say?” I prompted.

“Want a list?” Sheldon chuckled.

  • The Sales Manager says he asked Engineering for timetable before he promised a delivery date.
  • The Engineering Manager says there were too many changes in the scope of work.
  • The Ops Manager says the timetable from Engineering was unrealistic.
  • The Accounting Manager says the budget didn’t allow for any profit.
  • The Marketing Manager says that if he had known the priority of the client, he would have put more people into the product rollout.

“So, who is right?” I smiled.

“That’s the problem. They are all right. Every word is true.”

2 thoughts on “Blame and Excuses

  1. Kurt Mees

    Looks like to old way of project management: focus on time, budget and milestones. Today project management is moving towards a more client oriented apporach where the client can decide during the evolution of the project if he want to change scope, deliverables and timing. Logical because the client is paying, right? Nevertheless, within a team, every body should be aware of his tasks and responsibilities, we use a RACI table for this! But project management is also working in a matrix structure, meaning that the managers of your teammembers should be aware at all time whatvis expected from there team at what moment in tile in order to do a proper HR capacity management. Typically, as a compnay grows, they bump into the limit of unstructured or processless management. What inmean is when there are only a few projects running, every body is pretty much aware of what’s going on, when the number of projects grow, this is no longer possible and you need a communication plan in order to keep everybody informed with the appropiate information. If you don’t then you see the situation above.

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  2. management training

    “Blame and excuses” … all to common experiences in the work place. The problem is always based on unmet expectations and for many people they lack the management skills to help individuals to get the job done. People do not like being always told what to do, but when coached in the correct direction and are made to feel like something bigger then themselves and are appreciated and valued as individuals they tend to want to live up to expectations.

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