Huge piles of paper to read or not to read?

Last week I visited the BPUG (Run the business – Change the business; Who makes the connection?) in Utrecht, and discussed with lots of colleagues about project management. I also had the opportunity to have a short talk with Lex Dirkse, a professional cartoonist.
I explained my philosophy that I don’t want to see project managers sitting behind their PC’s and creating huge piles of paper, sometimes called PID’s. In my opinion they must communicate and only write down the essence of what was discussed, instead of writing a lot of pages and simply give this to senior management. I have seen too often that large documents were not read at all by senior management.
He translated this short story into a cartoon, showing a project manager, called Brad PID, creating a huge document while drinking lots of coffee. As he is finally finished, senior management received the PID. As a consequence the senior managers had to postpone their holiday to read the document. So this PM could still be happy because his executive wants to read it, even if it costs him a lot of time. But in real life I don’t believe this will happen.

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2 responses to “Huge piles of paper to read or not to read?

  1. The funny thing of PID’s is, that mostly the project executive wants a document in which everything is secured. Some how every one still wants to have a plan, that is describing all stages in detail including the money involved. So, mostly PRINCE2 in name only. When external parties are involved, this is even more wanted. I prefer a few slides in a presentation form only, with the highlights of the project. But some how a lot of people get confidence of a lot of paperwork.

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