5 pictures you must see before implementing a planning platform (Pt 2)


I’ll admit it.

I hate management by exception.

See that gorilla in the window. Well, there was a time when it was just a cute little baby gorilla. In fact, it was so tiny it could have been tempting to imagine it wasn’t ‘significant’ enough to count as an exception.

Big mistake. No, huge mistake.

In my experience, management by exception always leads to busted delivery dates. Here’s why.

A bias towards inaction

In other words, letting things slide.

Project managers who favor management by exception tend to gloss over issues.

Instead of asking their team useful questions (such as “What worries you most about this project? What do you think could go wrong?”), they ask themselves lame questions (such as “Is this really a material deviation?”).

In most cases, they conclude that it isn’t, and that the project manager on the other side – that’s me, folks – should “just fix it” because they “don’t have the time” to revise the project plan.

What an admission.

A project manager who doesn’t have time for his project is in the business of rearing baby gorillas. And they won’t remain babies forever.

A bias towards reaction

Management by exception creates a lot of bad exceptions.

In my book, exceptions are good. Dealing with them before they become problems is even better.

A bad exception – now that’s something else.

A bad exception is an exception that could have been avoided with a little old-fashioned commonsense.

Here’s a good example.

“So X, Y, and Z are going to be on holiday in a month’s time? Let’s put our heads together now and decide who will take over.”

Project managers should be looking out for gorillas. Baby ones.

Check out this space next week for more implementation tips – and discover why you may need to examine the size of your dime.


Planet Planning


Felix Ogg.

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Felix Ogg

About Felix Ogg

I manage project teams that implement workforce optimization systems. I’m a planning and goal-setting freak who loves making sure that my teams do the right thing, at the right time. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m Dutch. We have an international reputation for rudeness, but don’t believe everything you hear. I try not to hurt people’s feelings – most of the time. I let off steam in the dojo. You can wake me up for a beautiful chart.