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Myths in Project Management
3. How to avoid a myth?

A project manager always has to work under pressure of the time-quality-cost-triangle. The quality is fixed, so it is only possible to adjust the time and cost objectives. The common mistakes that managers make are that they want to optimize time and cost with the aid of one of the above-named myths. A myth comes into being because of generalised statements without scientific evidence. This could be because of the fact that a project has worked a few times although the management made mistakes. Not every mistake results in failure, but it is only due to causality that the project does not fail (Kerzner, 2009, p.60-61).

Therefore there are various management tools that bring scientific evidence into a project to avoid myths. The objectives of every project have to be proved if they are SMART with statistics, own experience and the use of studies. The more material that is in the database, the more probable are the chances to be successful. The strategy not only has to be clear for the management, but also for all project members. The success of a project depends on the human factor and the ability to challenge statements from the management. For instance it is often said that a project has to follow a strategy because the competition does it in the same way. But the evidence of sufficient database is missing to underline this statement (Business Wissen, 2007).

Another source of myths is that many entrepreneurs do not accept technological or social advancements. They stay with antiquated traditions because they believe that the methods they have always used with success are the only methods that work. For example many entrepreneurs still think that the internet is not worth investing in. But the companies which at the end of the 20 century recognized the powerful tool of online-marketing are the winners of the information age. The other companies, like the German mail-order company Arcandor, which still focus their efforts on selling from a catalogue went bankrupt in 2009. A project manager also has to implement new technologies and strong social changes in his planning in order to identify the needs of their customers. But the implementation of a new technology has to be seen as a process rather than a change from one day to the next. All changes need time (Fischer, 2009, p.594-596; Focus, 2009a; Focus, 2009b).

All efforts to design useful software, events or other products may be pointless if the target group does not like it. With good planning which not only includes budget and time calculation, but also significant market research a project can increase the possibility of being successful.


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