We need more sex in project management.

Well, not quite.

Picture the scene; a group of around 100 management consultants all talking to each other about what we do. I was talking to one of the organisers about what I did – the elevator pitch bit!

He looked at me for a moment and said; “the words project management are such a turn off. You need to sex it up a bit and call it something else!” This conversation took place around 8 years ago.

Now I deal with many professionals who have spent years becoming qualified and suddenly find that they have been given a project. They find themselves having to deal with a new set of skills, new labels and change!

Project management is so UNSEXY!

Switch to my business coach who in discussion mentioned that she felt that the words project management were so unsexy – got in the way of people needing to accept the rigours that project management introduces. I tested this out asking what the words project management merant to them:

  • failed projects
  • IT geeks
  • Wembley stadium (which was delivered very late and overbudget)l
  • bureacracy
  • systems and processes that must be followed

Few of the words were positive.

So are the words project management a blockage?

In my passion for developing project management skills of professional staff I look for ways of tackling blockages to learning and ultimately delivery of projects. Is the word project management a blockage? What are your thoughts?

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6 Responses to We need more sex in project management.

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  2. PM Hut says:

    Hi Ron,

    I thought that you’re going to explain it as an acronym for something, such as:

    – Specifications
    – Experience
    – Well, I couldn’t find anything for the X!

    I totally agree about the bureaucracy!

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Great try. See at the end for the mysteruous X!

      Thanks for this. My aim is to try and put across that the words PROJECT MANAGEMENT seem to act as a blockage; blockage for the acceptance of processes and systems to deliver say a change. Interestingly, I was in discussions with a company who unprompted suggested that among their staff (solicitors) the use of the words project management would not go down very well. They had already substituted this with the words distinctive performance programme – it worked for them because project management did not.

      I need to try distinctive performance with other clients.

      The X by the way is xtra effort that all project managers seem to give to projects.

      Thanks for the response

  3. Jon Hyde says:

    Hi Ron,

    Great post. You’re so right that ‘Project Management’ is a turn off from a terminology point of view. It does indeed have a huge stigma attached to it. It’s a dirty phrase in local government associated with over the top Prince2 approaches and piles of paperwork.

    I think we need to re-brand. How about ‘Business change professionals’ instead of ‘project managers’?


    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks very much Jon for your comments Jon.

      I don’t think this is exclusively a turn off in local government though I have had many who do think like this in that sector. I have had many people who almost want to turn their backs on ‘project management’ and they are from private sector companies.

      Rebrand; yes but to what? I like Business Change Professionals (I see a new breed of qualification training needed, better get ready….!)

      Any other suggestions?

      Thanks Jon

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