5 Project Management Myths That Won’t Die

You’ve heard them: the project-related urban myths that are earnestly believed (and repeated) by non-project people, but which often make Project Managers laugh out loud. We’ve rounded up a few persistent myths below—see if any of these sound familiar.

1 – Happy users are the best barometer of a project’s success. Everyone wants happy users, but a project’s objectives, budget, and overall impact are also critical factors in determining its success. A blown budget or off-target objectives won’t be overshadowed in the long run by a group of pleased end users.

2 – Small projects don’t encounter scope creep. For some reason, small projects often seem to suffer from the opposite problem—they’re add-on magnets. The crux of the issue is that a small project has nowhere to hide its skeletons. Just about any growth in scope is noticeable.

3 – Accounting’s fiscal year won’t impact approved project budgets. What is it about that magical wormhole of the fiscal year that plays havoc with your project’s budget? Even if you alert folks months in advance, from the executive team and corporate officers to accounting, purchasing, and your nephew’s piano teacher, carrying an existing project into a new fiscal year always seems to be a challenge.

4 – Once a project is approved, no changes should be made. Changes in market conditions, business collaborations, and corporate strategies can all trigger necessary—and beneficial—changes to a project’s scope and objectives.

5 – Using in-house resources will keep project costs down. While this may be true on a case-by-case basis, you’ll often find that the use of external resources, such as consultants, experts, and vendors, is your best bet when trying to value engineer a project. The high level of expertise and wide range of experience available from specialized providers can help you avoid expensive mistakes later.

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