The culture of PM in IT is toxic.
The stereotypical IT PM is suspicious of those doing the work, micromanaging them, takes adversarial positions with suppliers and even the customer, builds “temporary” empires that can last for years, bullies operational people to prioritise project work, and compromises quality to meet deadlines and cost limits.
The damage from this is deep and enduring.
Of course this is a cartoon. Of course good PMs exist. Bless them, I wish there were more. And I don’t blame individuals. I always look to the system that puts PMs in the situations of unreasonable accountability for impossible deliverables. This means a certain type of personality is selected for and certain behaviours are induced.
When we stop fixing time, cost, and deliverables into delusional business cases, we can begin the journey to healing culture
When we fix that we can talk about how the process changes. I don’t embrace the #NoProjects idea but I understand the sentiment. In a healthy work system, Project Management is a supporting administrative function that leads nothing.
These are not my personal theories. These are proven approaches used in many organisations that embrace prioritising product over project. Mik Kersten’s research into workflows is an example.