Misconceptions

As the 1990s approached, project management began to mature in virtually all types of organizations, including those firms that were project-driven, those that were non-project-driven, and hybrids. Knowledge concerning the benefits project management offered now permeated all levels of management. Project management came to be recognized as a process that would increase shareholder value. This new knowledge on the benefits of project management allowed us to dispel the illusions and misconceptions that we had believed in for over 30 years.

These misconceptions or past views are detailed below, together with current views.

Cost of Project Management

• Misconception: Project management will require more people and increase our overhead costs.

• Present view: Project management allows us to lower our cost of operations by accomplishing more work in less time and with fewer resources without any sacrifice in quality.

Profitability

• Misconception: Profitability may decrease.

• Present view: Profitability will increase.

Scope Changes

• Misconception: Project management will increase the number of scope changes on projects, perhaps due to the project manager's desire for creativity.

• Present view: Project management provides us with better control of scope changes. Good project managers try to avoid scope changes.

Organizational Performance

• Misconception: Because of multiple-boss reporting, project management will create organizational instability and increase the potential for conflicts.

• Present view: Project management makes the organization more efficient and effective through better organizational behavior principles.

Customer Contact

• Misconception: Project management is really "eyewash" for the customer's benefit.

• Present view: Project management allows us to develop a closer working relationship with our customers.

Problems

• Misconception: Project management will end up creating more problems than usual.

• Present view: Project management provides us with a structured process for effectively solving problems.

Applicability

• Misconception: Project management is applicable only to large, long-term projects such as in aerospace, defense, and construction.

• Present view: Virtually all projects in all industries can benefit from the principles of project management.

Quality

• Misconception: Project management will increase the potential for quality problems.

• Present view: Project management will increase the quality of our products and services.

Power/Authority

• Misconception: Multiple-boss reporting will increase power and authority problems.

• Present view: Project management will reduce the majority of the power/authority problems.

Focus

• Misconception: Project management focuses on suboptimization by looking at the project only.

• Present view: Project management allows us to make better decisions for the best interest of the company.

End Result

• Misconception: Project management delivers products to a customer.

• Present view: Project management delivers solutions to a customer.

Competitiveness

• Misconception: The cost of project management may make us noncompetitive.

• Present view: Project management will increase our business (and even enhance our reputation).

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