Do You Believe in this Project?

by: Ron Rosenhead


I often receive really interesting issues on project management courses however one recently was new: I have been asked to work on a project I do not believe in. What should I do?

This course participant was involved in what was termed by her sponsor and the senior managers as a ‘key departmental project.’ There was a project team of her plus 3 others and she felt the whole project should be canned. She admitted to the project management course that she did not feel too motivated to deliver this project.

We looked at the options she had:

  1. Accept the view of sponsor and senior managers’ swallow your pride and get on with it.
  2. Challenge the view that it is a ‘key project’; really follow this through and ask those awkward questions
  3. Have a debate with the sponsor ensuring she and they understood what was meant by the term ‘key project’ actually means to them and to her
  4. If she feels so strongly then ask to be moved off the project or as one person put it; “you can always resign!”

What became clear throughout the discussion was that this project manager felt strongly that it was not a key project. She was challenged by a couple of course participants to say why. But, apart from generalizations she could not say why other than she thought it was a low priority project.

It was suggested that she really needed to be able to articulate how she felt and what she felt before attempting any of the points 1-4 above.

But, it raises the question what would you do if you disagreed with need for running a project? Would you do anything? I’d be interested to hear!

About the Author

Ron Rosenhead is a trainer, consultant speaker and coach all in the area of project management.

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