It’s Not About Project Buffers

Sharon was perplexed. “We missed the deadline,” she explained. “And my Project Manager doesn’t seem to understand why.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I wanted to know what caused the delay in the schedule that put us behind, and he just shrugged his shoulders. ‘Not my fault,’ he says. ‘Circumstances outside of my control.’ I mean, I know the customer changed the spec on the project, and that we had to go back for another permit, but I expect my Project Manager to anticipate things like that.”

“How so?”

“Projects of this length always have changes, customers always change their mind, that’s why we use project buffers in the schedule,” Sharon sorted out.

“What could you have done differently?”

“Me?” she quizzed. “I’m not the Project Manager, it was his job.”

“Who assigned this project to this Project Manager?” I pressed.

Sharon stopped. She had overlooked that one small detail. “You are right,” she began. “I hold my Project Manager accountable for the output of the Project Team, but I am accountable for the output of my Project Manager. I should have had more interim meetings with him to see how we were using the project buffers, to help him make decisions and solve problems.”

2 thoughts on “It’s Not About Project Buffers

  1. Julian

    I agree with PM Hut on this, the entire point is that you delegate because you can’t take on responsibility for everything that happens under you. If that were the case then the CEOs of multinational corporations would have to know every tiniest detail of all projects, which is obviously not going to happen.


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