De ti b(r)ud – fejl projektledere begår til alle tider

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Projektledelse er et af de få fag, hvor der hverken er standardiserede uddannelser eller mesterlære eller andet, der garanterer for kvaliteten af kandidaten, der hævder at være projektleder.

Modig og ny
Det er formodentligt årsagen til, at hver ny projektleder starter med at begå nogenlunde de samme fejltagelser, som alle de foregående projektledere har begået de sidste ca. 75 år.

Sultne efter endnu mere anerkendelse og med udsigt til nye trin på karrierestigen, er man let at lokke til at supplere sin i forvejen rigeligt lange arbejdsuge som anerkendt nøglemedarbejder med ansvaret som projektleder. Man er lidt som de modige frivillige, som melder sig til at kæmpe for fædrelandet eller for den gode sag; men farerne ved fronten er mange, og uden en veteran til at lære en op, kan debuten blive smertefuld for en selv, og for dem, man skal forsvare.

Forberedt og erfaren
Veteranen ved, at ungdommens mod er godt; men forberedelse og erfaring er meget bedre. Projektledelse drejer sig nemlig ikke om at turde eller om at prøve, for det kan de fleste. Nej, det drejer sig om at levere det, som man har lovet, og det fordrer, at man kun lover, hvad man sådan cirka kan stå inde for, og i den forbindelse er mod og virkelyst af det onde.

Projektledelse er en profession ligesom læge, tømrer eller urmager, og hver profession har sine erfaringsbaserede måder at arbejde på. Læger starter ikke med at udskrive en bredspektret mængde af piller i håbet om, at nogle sikkert vil virke. Tømreren starter ikke med at knalde nogle brædder sammen i håbet om, at de nok skal kunne bruges et eller andet sted og endelig starter urmageren heller ikke med at skille værket ad i håbet om, at fejlen i uret nok ligger der.

Nej, professionelle går frem på en professionel måde – heraf titlen – og adskiller sig i det fra amatører, som træffer valg og gennemfører handlinger, som de kun i begrænset omfang kan argumentere for er de rigtige.

Men hov, hvad hvis man er den skarpeste kniv i skuffen med hensyn til projektets fagområde! Er man så ikke den bedste til at træffe beslutninger? Svaret er i bedste fald nej og i værste fald er svaret nej, fordi du er den værste! Det skyldes, at projekter erfaringsmæssigt kun i begrænset omfang lykkedes på grund af den faglige ballast i projektet. Selv den dygtigste besætning er prisgivet en overmodig projektleder-kaptajn i et isfyldt farvand.

Besparelse forude
Men nu kære læser, har du en mulighed for at spare dig selv for 1,000 timers overarbejde, 25% færre rynker og sprængte blodkar omkring øjnene og 50% mindre chance for at forlade arbejdsmarkedet med stress inden du fylder 40. Du kan samtidig spare din virksomhed for 15% af omkostningerne og øge ROI med mindst 20% på dine projekter de næste fem år, samtidig med at dit popularitets-index blandt kunder, projektdeltagere og brugere vil stige med raketfart.

Lyder det interessant, så notér dig de efterfølgende 10 faldgruber og fat, at du ikke er hverken klogere, smartere eller i større omfang udstyret med superevner end de foregående millioner af projektledere, som alle faldt i alligevel.

1. siger ja for hurtigt
Du siger hurtigt ja, fordi du helt korrekt har indset, at det jo er det, ledelsen gerne vil høre, og gerne før end siden! Du tænker, at der bagefter jo er god tid til at fix’e evt. problemer, og da især i store projekter. Du finder sidenhen ud af, at når du sagde ja til at prøve at få projektet til at lykkedes, så hørte ledelsen et ja til at du faktisk kunne lykkedes med projektet. Du fandt også ud af, at ledelsen ikke så med mildere øjne på katastrofen i dit projekt, fordi du sagde ja så hurtigt fra starten. Endelig fandt du ud af, at der aldrig er tid til at fix’e noget som helst. Projekter er notorisk født for små, og jo større projekterne er, jo værre er det.

2. stiller for få betingelser
Du siger ok på den tidsplan eller det budget, som ledelsen peger på, eller som kunden lige har skrevet under på. Du tænker, at når det nu er sådan fat, som må du vel heller se, om du kan få det til at blive til virkelighed. Du ser dig selv som redningsmanden, der heltemodigt gør sit bedste for at redde situationen. Du finder hurtigt ud af, at ingen gider høre på, at den umulige tidsplan eller det utilstrækkelige budget er andres skyld. Du indser, at da du sagde ja, skiftede alle problemerne lynhurtigt ejermand – til dig.

3. er for flink undervejs
For det gode samarbejdes skyld eller som kundepleje eller fordi vi jo er i samme firma eller fordi ”det jo egentlig bare er papirpenge”, siger du ja til ønsker og ændringer til projektet igen og igen. Inden du får set dig om, er dit i forvejen stamme budget og din tidsplan fuldsætning sprængte. Du finde ud af, at ingen er taknemmelige for at du imødekom ønskerne og ingen mener, at du kan brug det som undskyldning – ”så skulle du jo have sagt nej”.

4. giver en hånd med, der hvor det kniber
Snarere end at måtte indrømme overfor ledelsen, at dit projekt har problemer og mangler ressourcer kaster du dig desperat ind i kampen for at nå deadline. Din manglende forberedelse til møder med styregruppen eller kunden undskylder du med, at du ligger vandret for at gøre styregruppen og kunden glad i forhold til deadlines. Du indser hurtigt, at der er vigtigere at signalere, at man har styr på sit projekts status og situation end det er, at arbejde solen sort. Du indser, at selvom det er slemt at fortælle, at man er bagud, så er det meget værre at indrømme, at man har mistet styringen.

5. beder om for få ressourcer og penge
Når du løber ind i problemer og må bede om hjælp i form af flere folk eller mere tid, så prøver du at undgå alt for mange bebrejdelser ved at under spille problemet. Du beder derfor også om for lidt hjælp. Når du for anden gang beder og hjælp til det samme problem indser du, at du skulle have taget skideballen sidste gang i stedet for den enorme røvfuld du får denne gang.

6. rapporterer for optimistisk
Af frygt for at miste tiltroen og opbakningen skriver og fortæller du, at projektet går meget bedre end sandheden er. Du håber og tror på, at hvis du blot får fred nogle uger eller måneder, så vil du være på banen igen. Du finder ud af, at få at indhente tidsplanen, skal du bede om overarbejde. Overarbejde koster enten i penge eller i træthed, så uanset hvad, indser du, at det bliver opdaget, at du har forsøgt at dække over noget. Balladen over det er større end at have indrømmet problemerne fra starten.

7. stiller for få krav til interessenterne
Du vil nødig skabe et dårligt klima, så du ser gennem fingre med, at interessenterne ikke lever det, som de skulle og at de i øvrigt laver alt muligt andet; end at forberede sig på dit projekts spændende leverancer. Den dag du skal aflevere, indser du, at ingen er parate til at benytte dine outputs, og alle fordelene, benefit’ene og besparelserne skydes langt ind i fremtiden.

8. mere fokus på leverancer end formål
Du måles på din evne til at levere det aftalte, til tiden og indenfor budgettet. Derfor er dit fokus på de ultimative leverancer, og du opdager slet ikke, at virkeligheden ændrer sig, så chancerne for, at dine leverancer faktisk kan føre frem til selve formålet med projektet, bliver mindre og mindre. Når ledelsen langt senere savner opnåelsen af projektets formål, vender den sig anklagende mod dig, og du indser, at formålet til syvende og sidst er meget vigtigere end leverancerne.

9. For meget fokus på i dag
Du forsørger med arme og ben at holde trit med den daglige byge af problemer, og først på vej hjem, får du med røde øre tid til at tænke på morgendagen. Du indser efterhånden, at for hver time, du sætter over styr i arbejdet med at ’feje’ foran dit projekt, tager det mindst ti gange så langt tid at feje op bagefter dit projekt.

10. Du tror, at du og dit projekt er unikt
Til trods for at du har skimmet de foregående ni faldgruber, så føler du stadig, at du hverken er faldet i eller vil falde i dem. Efter nogen tid, vil du indse, at du er ligesom alle vi andre, og den dag, vil du måske beslutte dig for, at udvikle dig til en professionel projektleder?

Finn Svenning
Finn Svenning er selvstændig konsulent indenfor projektledelse med over 25 års erfaring. Finn skriver Danmarks største blog om projektledelse med 1.400+ indlæg på Projektkvalitet. Finn er HD i organisation og strategi og er certificeret projektleder PMP og PRINCE2 og NLP-, DiSC-, Belbin- samt Enneagram-practitioner. Finn kan kontaktes på fs@projektkvalitet.dk.
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