Managing Projects: The Forgotten Art Of Influencing People To Get Results

Aug 11, 2018 6:05:08 AM

Yes, it is different! Project Management practices have evolved into highly professional techniques and tools, but sadly the “managing” part for some reason lagged behind and never enjoyed the same status. This is especially true in the IT community.

Is this a Freudian slip or is it different than PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

We do not want to take anything away from those project managers who learned their craft through the “school of hard knocks” and who are brilliant project managers. However, many new project team members and even project managers get some training in project tools and techniques, are given the latest software and are told to go and “change the world.” Sorry to say, this does not breed good project staff, but rather makes most of them so disillusioned with the practice of project management that ‘once bitten twice shy’ make them stay as far away from projects as possible.

I was fortunate to have received extensive training in how to manage projects at an early age and I believe that project management is one of the most exciting professions out there. However, I can also understand that if you did not have this kind of experience you might have an opposite view of this and might think that project management is really not that attractive.


I’ve been involved in many consulting assignments called “Project Rescue” and I will attempt to list a few situations and guidelines that would make it clear why we experience problems and what could be done about it. The following will be addressed in subsequent blogs about how to RESCUE any project…

1. Align stakeholder expectations

PMI on their website list this as one of the major reasons for project failure and we will support that through our personal involvement in project rescue efforts with diverse clients in many parts of the world. Continue reading …

2. Lack of Accountability

Why is this so difficult to achieve? There are a few core reasons why this is happening and should be easy to rectify. Continue reading...

3. Lack of Specificity

Project success lies in the details and it is “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
Continue reading...

4. Too far away from your most important resources

Do you know who these resources are and do you know how to correctly influence them, especially if they do not have any vested interest in your project?
To Be Published on 15 Aug.

5. Scope creep

Who does not know about this? Do you know why this is happening and what to do about it? Many project staff just do not know how to deal with this, let alone what to do to avoid this from happening in the first place.
To Be Published on 22 Aug.

6. Misalignment

This is the most misunderstood concept in project management and is one of the most important factors contributing to project issues.
To Be Published on 29 Aug.

7. Poor problem-solving skills

This might sound out of place, but every Project Manager should be at least a proven professional problem solver. There are many other skills that the PM should possess, but problem-solving is at the top of the list. The most common omission is the insistence on finding the underlying reasons or causes of problems.
To Be Published on 5 Sept.

Project Management should not be a jail sentence, but if handled correctly with the correct training could become one of the few ways to prove yourself and promote you in the organization.
The suggestions made are general guidelines of how similar situations were solved in the past. Experienced project professionals will recognize many of the suggestions because they are already employing these strategies. Please use your common sense in every suggestion made. Apply it through the “adopt and adapt” principle. In other words, look at your unique project situation and see what you can adopt from our suggestions and then adapt it to your own situation.

This blog has been updated for ITpreneurs on their website

Mat-thys Fourie

Written by Mat-thys Fourie

Washington, DC, United States | Founder & Chairman of Thinking Dimensions Global
Mr. Fourie is a thought leader on how IT professionals apply Incident Investigation techniques on a repeatable and sustainable basis within their organizations. His strength lies in customizing and embedding the various techniques within existing CSI, Incident and Problem Management practices.


Sign up for our newsletter and receive updates that will help your business to grow. Do not waste time, we're here for you.