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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Easy Doesn't

If it’s easy, don’t do it. It’s not good.
That statement may be the rare oversimplification that is true more often than not. It certainly is true of Project Management. Whatever you do the easy way won’t get the job done.
The emperor of this land of failure is “It’s easier to do it myself.” Of course it’s easier to do it yourself. Any fool knows that. Just do it. You don’t need to take the time to describe and explain it to someone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about, and may show clear signs of not really caring to find out.
It’s easier to do it yourself than to think through ways to keep track of someone else doing it, and easier than taking the time to figure out what they’re doing wrong, and get them to see that, then get them to see how to avoid doing it wrong again as soon as you turn your back.
It’s easier to do it yourself than it is to wait and wonder when it will get done, or whether it’s even under way yet, and whether there will be unexpected and unnecessary barriers in the way of whoever else is trying to do it.
There’s little or no pride in seeing a final result that is only 70 percent as good as it could have been, or one that doesn’t have the proud polish of true professionalism.
There’s a little extra embarrassment when some other expert makes amused remarks to you about the work done under your supervision that isn’t up to the standard you used to set back when you were more on your game.
On a really personal level, results that are solely and fully your own are deeply satisfying. You might not have much time to relax and admire such a result, but it beats the dickens out of settling for knowing that some group product was brought to an acceptable (unexciting) conclusion under your direction.
There often isn’t much praise at such moments, and what there is doesn’t qualify as the gee-whiz variety. And it’s spread around – by you, if you’re smart enough to know how to earn the loyalty of your worker bees. In fact, some contributor may be singled out for a bit of glory that you know really belongs to you – but you’re the manager, so you have to witness some lesser achiever getting the plaudits that used to be yours, and by rights ought to be right now
Truly, any fool knows it’s easier to do it yourself. It's easier than managing.
The real fool, of course, is the one who actually DOES it himself/herself as a matter of practice. And don’t kid yourself. Most of us do, too often. Hard to believe? Not really.

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