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Nine Project Management Fallacies from Brenner

An interesting find of the Nine Project Management Fallacies by Rick Brenner of Chaco Canyon Consulting.  These are not fallacies about building projects or executing projects, they are fallacies around how we think about projects.  It's a good thing I don't do any of these.

Our best defense against project management fallacies is to study them. By naming the fallacies, the patterns become obvious to everyone, which deters us from using them. Two common fallacies that arise from our wish for simple solutions [with my brief summaries in italics]

  • The Fallacy of Positivism: everything will be great
  • The Bad Actor Fallacy: you are to blame

And two fallacies survive on the basis of their subtlety:

  • The Naturalistic Fallacy: the leader is the reason for our success 
  • The Culturalistic Fallacy: the team is our reason for failure 

Two fallacies have a deep connection to what we are as human beings:

  • The Fungibility Fallacy: skills are transferable 
  • The Linearity Fallacy: projects grow linearly with complexity  

And three fallacies arise from failures of critical thinking:

  • The Normative Fallacy: a few answers that appear to agree are not THE answer 
  • The Availability Heuristic: it's difficult to estimate probabilities (huh?) 
  • The Grandiosity Fallacy: solving the big problem will solve the original problem 

Brenner describes all of these in more detail, but I really like how these are such human behaviors.  I connected immediately to behaviors I see in projects all the time.  And if you can identify the behaviors and the damage that they do, you can change them.

p.s.  It's fallacy number ten to believe that you don't have these fallacies yourself.

Found via Glen Alleman.

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