Posted tagged ‘methodology’


April 23, 2010

I believe, with all my heart, that if you have a three step process, and you complete steps one and two rigorously and with great diligence, sometimes you get to step three.  That probably sums up the way I feel about “methodologies” – another misused and misunderstood crutch in the execution of work.

So I read with some interest a brief article in PM Network magazine by Jesse Fewell, essentially titled “Methodology doesn’t matter.”  You can read the gist of it here.   The article itself didn’t quite go as far as the title, which was a little disappointing, but I think his contention was that teamwork and intuition can trump blindly following steps in a process.  To me,  a bit of a “duh” moment, but I was impressed that he said it, in any fashion, right in a Project Management magazine.  Good for you, Jesse!


So I thought I would add another observation or two that are a bit closer to the “blasphemy” that Jesse was gently creeping toward:

  1. Methodologies are security blankets for weak leaders who choose process over outcomes.
  2. Outcomes are NOT meeting dates or budgets.  If you believe that meeting a pre-defined budget is an outcome, you are an accountant, not a leader.
  3. Target completion dates are like the crosshairs on a high-powered rifle.  They help you aim, but they don’t load the ammo, pull the trigger, track and skin the prey, or put it on the hood of your pickup truck (after using 9,147 sports analogies, I thought I should use at least one that my good friends in Michigan could relate to…)

Here’s how Jesse ended the article:  “No methodology by itself will have all the answers.  Project managers are looked upon to steer the ship through the roughest waters – which means knowing where you are, where you’re going and the best maneuvers to keep from sinking.”

Aye, aye, Captain Jesse!  Well done!