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How to Make an Enemy of Your Project Manager

Shadowing Mark Calabrese’s ironic post at his blog, AITS presents a list of things that are sure to ruin a team member’s relationship with their PM. (Hint: If you’re trying to improve that relationship, be sure to think “opposite” while reading this article).

1. Maintain Total Silence

Not alerting PMs, or the owners of successor and predecessor tasks, to the presence of risks regarding deliverables is sure to draw their ire – especially if those deliverables are on a critical or controlling path.

2. Neglect Task Information

Feigning to identify tasks or deliverables that will be impacted by risk, i.e., neglecting to provide task IDs, will certainly set their tempers ablaze. Another way to prevent the PM from tracking risk to a specific work stream is to make vague mention of that risk to fellow employees, hoping the information will “trickle up” to management.

3. Avoid Estimates

Conveniently forget to provide estimates about the delay of particular tasks. This is an excellent way to avoid taking responsibility for one’s (in)actions, and effectively prevents the PM from modeling impacts for future mitigation or from setting proper expectations for stakeholders.

4. Exude Zero Creativity

Absolutely disparage thought leadership. Develop no ideas of your own. As Calabrese succinctly states:  

Try “thinking for management” by filtering out any idea that you are “absolutely certain will be rejected” or that might make you look bad by appearing to question management.  As with estimates, your idea might be implemented and if it doesn’t work out, you could be held accountable.

Overall, by refusing to act or to lead in any way, you are sure to make an enemy of your project manager. Only through communication, accountability, and planning can you fail to fail as a member of any project team!

For the original sarcastic post, visit:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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