We’re only brought in at the project planning stage

That was the plaintiff cry from some of a group on a recent project management course  

Those who made the comment suggested that looking at aspects such as developing a business case or identifying and managing stakeholders and risks was not relevant to them. As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir; from other course members and especially from me! 

I asked the 4 people who said this to try and look at things slightly differently. I suggested that even though they were only brought in to put together the project plan, they should know about the whole of the project management lifecycle. After a brief discussion, they reluctantly agreed! 

I then suggested that as managers in the business they should be managing projects rather than simply putting together the project plan. A similar discussion and another agreement reached. I then said that they would not know enough about the project to put the plan together without the business case, risks and stakeholders and of courser the project initiation document (PID). 

This discussion took slightly longer! They finally agreed. 

The interesting issue is that senior managers who commissioned the course definitely saw the target group running projects – all the way from idea to delivery. But not the group on the course! 

As a tutor on project management courses I often have to challenge people – sometimes like this I can convince them. However, it does not bode well for projects. Why not? If senior managers cannot brief people sufficiently well about attendance on courses then how well will they brief them on projects? 

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