PROJECT MANAGERS SUCCEED BY GETTING “SCRAPPY”
Kimberly Wiefling, author of “Scrappy Project Management: The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces,” helps project managers succeed when communications and timelines break down, results seem impossible, or teams are non-performing.
Murphy’s Law states: If something can go wrong, it will. According to international Project Management Consultant, Kimberly Wiefling, Murphy’s Law is alive and well – and living inside of every project supervised by a project manager across the globe. By helping Project Managers to “get scrappy,” Wiefling, the author of “Scrappy Project Management,” shows project managers how to thwart Murphy’s Law, and succeed by avoiding the 12 predictable and avoidable pitfalls every project faces.
“Projects are messy,” says Wiefling. “Every project manager is going to encounter some, or all, of these 12 predictable pitfalls, no matter what the project. For example, communications will break down. Timelines will go by the wayside. Goals will be clear to some but not to others. Employees might feel demoralized, or machines will go haywire.”
Wiefling gives the example of a project nightmare in her own life that only Murphy could have dreamed up. As she was placing the final touches on “Scrappy Project Management,” her computer suddenly froze and ascended to that “Great Computer Showroom in the Sky.” With no back up to replace her three years of work, she then did what any well-intended project management consultant would do under similar circumstances – she screamed, cursed the evil computer gods who had caused her computer to self-destruct when she was in minutes of completing her manuscript, then promptly put her laptop in the freezer.
Uncurling from the fetal position the next morning, she attempted to start up the now-useless piece of junk that had once been her faithful and steady companion. When nothing happened, in disgust, she then threw the machine on the floor. Presto! The familiar start up tone chimed and she was able to retrieve the soul of her precious manuscript as her computer rose from the dead. (See the YouTube video re-enactment – just search for “Scrappy Project Management”.)
When any of the 12 predictable pitfalls occur, Wiefling notes that project managers typically turn to the “PMBOK” (Product Management Body of Knowledge) from the Project Management Institute for their answers. While the “PMBOK” is the standard reference book for the project management industry, Wiefling maintains that the recommendations provided within it do not necessarily apply to real world situations.
Says Wiefling, “To say that the “PMBOK” is the answer to your project management problems is like saying the dictionary is the best selling book for English literature. The bottom line is, we live in a real world where real problems arise. You’re not going to find real life solutions to all your project management problems in the “PMBOK.” If you want to get results, you’d better get ‘scrappy’.”
So, what is scrappy? “Scrappy means attitude,” says Wiefling. “Scrappy project managers are the kind of people who say things like, ‘those of you who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those of us who are doing it.’ Scrappy project managers have a sense of commitment that defies being realistic or sensible. They do not wait for a guarantee of success. They just jump in and figure out a way to get it done. Scrappy managers stay the course or course-correct, but in either case, they hang on like a pit bull on the pant leg of opportunity, and they don’t let go until they’ve achieved their goals.”
Says Wiefling, “‘Scrappy Project Management’ is a collection of wisdom on how to get results when the odds are against you, when precedence says it can’t be done, and when the majority believe your project is impossible. It’s for people who aren’t bound by convention, assumptions, or self-limiting beliefs. Scrappy project managers can be counted on to get the job done through hard work, creative thinking, basic common sense, and sheer persistence.”
Want to get scrappy? To download a free chapter from “Scrappy Project Management,” go to https://wiefling.com.
Founder and President
Wiefling Consulting, LLC
+1 650 867 0847
Hi Kimbery, you write some interesting stuff, I am very interested in what you say about PMBOK and I like your stance – I’m a true believer that the PMBOK causes more harm than good and turns people in form filling idiots – cheers
Hi Chris –
Yes, I feel like I am taking a big risk by plainly stating what many people feel because PMI has such a stranglehold on the project management profession these days. But I have personally contacted PMI to see if I could help them become more flexible and inclusive of more “scrappy” projects, and they referred me to 3 different exams I could help them write. Sheesh!
Have a Scrappy Holiday! – Kimberly