> Respect From The Top, Disdain From The Bottom
Respect From The Top, Disdain From The Bottom
In Scott Berkun‘s blog post, “Why Project Managers (PM) get no respect“, he gets to the heart of his assertion of why “output producers” don’t harbor much professional respect for “output managers“:
The core problem is perspective. Our culture does not think of movie directors, executive chefs, astronauts, brain surgeons, or rock stars as project managers, despite the fact that much of what these cool, high profile occupations do is manage projects. Everything is a project. The difference is these individuals would never describe themselves primarily as project managers. They’d describe themselves as directors, architects or rock stars first, and as a projects manager or team leaders second. They are committed first to the output, not the process. And the perspective many PMs have is the opposite: they are committed first to the process, and their status in the process, not the output.
If one doesn’t understand the “project output” to some degree, especially what makes for a high quality output, there is no choice but to focus on process over output. And as one goes higher up in the corpo status chain, the preference for concentrating on process and its artifacts (spreadsheets, specifications, presentations, status reports) over output tends to increase because meta-managers have much in common with lesser “output managers” and not much in common with “output producers“. It is what it is, and unless so-called process champions are continuously educated on the specific types of “outputs” their institutions produce, it will remain what it is.