The Downside Risk of Project Management

Project management is much too often recognized only as a high-salaried, highly challenging position whereby the project manager receives excellent training in general management.

For projects that are done for external sources, the project manager is first viewed as starting out with a pot of gold (see Figure 1-6) and then as having to manage the project so that sufficient profits will be made for the stockholders (see Figure 1-7). If the project manager performs well, then the expected result is as shown in Figure 1-8.

For projects external to the company, the project manager's responsibility is shown in Figure 1-7. Unfortunately, in going from Figure 1-6 to Figure 1-7, the project manager may experience a change in health (as shown in Figure 1-9), especially if he falls in love with his project.

Figure 1-6. Project initiation and funding.
Figure 1-7. Booking profits for the stockholders.

Figure 1-8. Successful project completion.

Project Initiation Project completion

Figure 1-9. Project manager's health.

There are severe downside risks that are not always evident. Some project management positions may require not only a sixty-hour workweek, but also extensive time away from home (see Figures 1-10 through 1-13). When a project manager begins to fall in love more with the job than with his family, the result is usually lack of friends, a poor home life, and possibly divorce. During the birth of the missile and space programs, companies estimated that the divorce rate among project managers and project engineers was probably twice the national average. Accepting a project management assignment is not always compatible with raising a young family. The following have been found to be characteristic of the workaholic project manager:

• Every Friday he thinks that there are only two more working days until Monday.

• At 5:00 p.m. he considers the working day only half over.

• He always takes work home from the office.

• He takes work with him on vacations.

Farm Silhouette Clip Art

Figure 1-11. Effective project: good home life.

Figure 1-10. Effective project management: no pressure.

Figure 1-11. Effective project: good home life.

Figure 1-12. Effective project management: meet new people.
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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Responses

  • Maria
    What are of Dowside risks in a project?
    2 years ago

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