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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
July 28, 2008

As with any change there are barriers, after rolling out a project bulletin board. I'd like to share the barriers, I have encountered and how to overcome these barriers.

First there is the avoidance barrier, expressed as either "This involves too much work" or "We don't have time for doing this." When hearing this mantra, I recommend a couple of tactics. First see if this is an education problem. Sometimes new project managers don't know how to do a project status report. Guiding them through a couple will help overcome the avoidance tactic. If that tactic is unsuccessful, explain that a project managers first and foremost job is communication, and if the project isn't worth communicating to our colleagues, then maybe it isn't worth doing. This is a little bit forceful, however it does overcome the avoidance tactic.

Second there is misperception barrier, commonly relayed in the "My project is different because ..." reasoning. This barrier arises due to a lack of understanding project management. One commonly heard form is "My project is different because we aren't managing it, the business is" Then when asked if it has a beginning and end, and it doesn't. It's time to ask if maybe we can get a scope of work around what we collectively are trying to accomplish. This barrier usually indicates the need to formalize the requested work.

Next there is the misunderstanding barrier, expressed as " This isn't a project it is a task." This barrier commonly arises when the Information Services organization is treated as an expense. Resources are consumed in task request work to help reduce the workload for clerk positions. Commonly to overcome this assumption the goal is to change perspective, look from about a skyscraper level as to what is trying to be accomplished. Normally there is a sense of purpose and business need with benefits to be realized. It just needs to be unvealed.

Finally there is the subversion barrier, commonly relayed as " I will just go to {insert over your paygrade title here} - he/she will see how this not useful" This barrier can be overcome by having a collaborative leadership team agreeing to the roll out for the standardized reporting. The standardized project reporting process brings transparency and clarity to the efforts of the IT organization. Other impacts may occur, but normally the clarity helps bring about the need for project work appropriately.

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