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Lessons Learned for Project Managers – Part XI (#11 in the series 128 Lessons Learned for Project Managers)
By Jerry Madden

  • If you have someone who doesn’t look, ask, and analyze, ask them to transfer.
  • Bastards, gentlemen, and ladies can be project managers. Lost souls, procrastinators, and wishy-washers cannot.
  • A person’s time is very important. You must be careful as a manager that you realize the value of other people’s time, i.e., work you hand out and meetings should be necessary. You must, where possible, shield your staff from unnecessary work, i.e., some requests should be ignored or a refusal sent to the requester.
  • A good technician, quality inspector, and straw boss are more important in obtaining a good product than all the paper and reviews.
  • The seeds of problems are laid down early. Initial planning is the most vital part of a project. Review of most failed projects or of project problems indicates that the disasters were well planned to happen from the start.

Reprinted with permission from NASA. This article first appeared in NASA’s ASK Magazine, the NASA source for Project Management and Engineering Excellence.

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