It’s all about communication

From what I can read and I understand, project managers have a hard job when wanting to manage projects successfully. They may be prepared and have planned all necessary steps, might  be fortuned by skilled and motivated teams, they may moreover have so much luck that their client can express project requirements in a clear and distinct way. They might have thought about possible risks and took steps to mitigate them. They may even have managed to get the budget they requested. How many ‘may’s and ‘might’s have I used? Many? Yes, many but not enough. Even with so many mights which go right, they still can not be sure they can yell ‘done’  on time or be successful at the end.

Why? Well it is all about communication. Bad communication will make your project fail, good would give a legitimate chance of succeeding.

Our colleague Richard Joerges found in the archives of TED Conference 2002 a video describing how people sometimes talk, send messages, inform one another that everything is developing as agreed and fail to communicate their real problems or concerns.

The video is a presentation of Chris Bangle (famous car designer for various auto mobile companies like BMW, Fiat or Range Rover) in which he talks about how it pays not only to talk but also to say what’s in your mind and how to build trust between team members.

You may watch the video here: Continue reading


One of the reasons why projects fail could also be luck of motivation. There are various ways to motivate a PM or the team. One very important according to me, is letting the people have an amount of autonomy in choosing their way of work.

If the ‘what’ question is clear, it a great to know that you can freely decide ‘how’ methods to apply.

This works at best in creative teams but is also very good elsewhere. Creative workers find it easier to do mental work on their projects while hearing music, being on places outside the office walls, when visiting museums, or shopping moles, by taking a coffee at the coffee shop around the corner, go for a jog etc.

A programmer on the other hand, needs his machine,  his code and may find it easier to concentrate in the silence of his office.

There are so many different working habits and ways. Not everyone enjoys company when thinking. Different people work differently well while using the same set of hardware or software tools. Why should a company or a PM try to force a specific one? It would not rise effectivity, it will probably lead to unease.

My suggestion: Do you want to rise effectivity and make your deadlines on a project? Be courageous and offer autonomy to your team to decide for their own how they organise their work.