Recently I answered a series of questions about the project managers in an organization I know a bit. One of questions was about least important role project managers fulfill there. After a thought I came out with being a keeper of procedures.
I see it pretty often – people who care more about job being done according to procedures than about job being done well. If the person which comes to you mind is a PM who sees projects as a combination of budgets and schedules instead of people you know what kind of personality I think about.
Actually keeping most procedures, not only project-management-related but also software-development-related, requires significant effort. You need police which would enforce procedures or practices at least until people get used to them. And if people don’t see value in a specific procedure they won’t get used to it ever. This is basic reason why time tracking in software development teams always requires some kind of police to enforce its execution.
The more procedures, the more time spent on maintaining them and less time spent on the real work. You know, work which actually pushes a project ahead.
This is something which always fascinates me – how do those procedure-keepers find time to go picky on every detail of new document templates? What point do they see in discussing 5-hour schedule change for an hour? In a room filled with a dozen people. Only because this change would make the project over budget. Why is fighting about initial schedule so important, even though scope has significantly changed in the meantime? Three times.
So yes, if you really want to suck as a project manager it is definitely a way to go. You should instantly start thinking about new cool procedures which would make everyone’s life more miserable. That’s how you demonstrate your power after all.