Ten Ways to Guarantee Project Failure

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7. Allow changes at any point
The more changes, the better. Accepting all requests for changes keeps things lively and avoids the monotony of a static project. Maintain a you-want-it-you-got-it philosophy. It does wonders for customer morale and keeps project personnel on their toes. And don't bother documenting these changes. They'll all be part of one big end result, so why bother?

8. Discourage questions from team members
They don't have to understand what they're doing; that's your concern. And they certainly don't need to understand what anyone else is doing. Above all, don't explain the instructions and directions you give them. Their job is to do, not to think. You're not a seasoned project manager until you can glibly tell people what to do without telling them why.

9. Don't give customers progress reports
If they ask, just tell them the project is proceeding smoothly. Explain patiently that status reports are counterproductive; you could be using the time to work on the project. Tell them anything; just get them off your back. This is the trust-me approach to project management. Customers will appreciate the confidence you exhibit.

10. Don't compare project progress with project estimates
That way, you won't have to deal with the discovery that the project is slipping. Anyway, the sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up. But you already knew that.

As a rule of thumb, remember that if you pay attention to the needs of the project, the team, and your customers, you run the risk of succeeding. Heed the above, and failure is yours. Guaranteed!

About the author

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten

Naomi Karten is a highly experienced speaker and seminar leader who draws from her psychology and IT backgrounds to help organizations improve customer satisfaction, manage change, and strengthen teamwork. She has delivered seminars and keynotes to more than 100,000 people internationally. Naomi's newest books are Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals and Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change. Her other books and ebooks include Managing Expectations, Communication Gaps and How to Close Them, and How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert. Readers have described her newsletter, Perceptions & Realities, as lively, informative, and a breath of fresh air. She is a regular columnist for StickyMinds.com. When not working, Naomi's passion is skiing deep powder. Contact her at naomi@nkarten.com or via her Web site, www.nkarten.com.

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