In Software Project Management, Size Doesn’t Matter

Several months ago, I was discussing project management with someone from the financial sector. This person, who is rather good at his own line of work, admitted he didn’t know much about project management (but had some clients who did).

We were talking about some new ways of looking at project management, particularly, the domain specific approach that I often advocate PMP certification . Wanting to test my theories, he picked up the phone and proceeded to call one of his clients, whom he knew to be a real top-notch expert in project management.

What is interesting is that this project manager client of his was perceived to be an expert not because of any particularly extraordinary skills he had displayed, or even a long list of stellar accomplishments but rather, because he managed really BIG projects – like 4 years, 200 people, $50 million projects. Big ones.

At first, I didn’t even think twice. Of course, I thought, I suppose you would have to be really good to handle those kinds of projects. I mean, if coordinating 10 people is tough, 200 must be about 20 times tougher. A lot of people would certainly reason this way. After meeting this manager, which was a rather familiar experience, it triggered a line of thinking:

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