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I’m just back from two conferences – presenting http://www.conferencecallsmadeeasy.com/ at the APM conference last week and chairing the PMI’s International Project Management Day conference yesterday. Both were fun and informative. The fascinating thing was that the same theme came through very strongly from both conferences: it’s people that make projects work, not processes or methodology. They must’ve been reading my newsletters! Not that I’m against methodolgy… but it just doesn’t cut it alone.

A few weeks ago at the Programme Management special interest group (ProgM) in London, I heard a senior programme manager talk about the methodology most people use: PRIDE. Have you heard of that? PRojects In Deep Excrement. I thought that this was really rather funny… until I remembered the time when I had a project that was deep in it. It was incredibly stressful and not at all funny. I can remember it vividly – even though it was ten years ago. Today, I heard of someone else who is under that stress right now, made worse by the credit crunch. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Geoff told us how methodologies like PRINCE2 are like lights that shine on a ballet dancer – they help everyone to see the dancing but don’t actually show the dancer how to dance. Often, a lot of work goes into showing everyone else that you are doing a good job… perhaps even producing reports that are best used as padding for trousers when things get tough.

Geoff went on to say that we need methods that are flexible, deal with strategy, cope with change and deal with people. Sounds good!

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