In this week’s conclusion to “The 8 Biggest Problems” podcast, Cadence president John Patton brings you problem number eight in the series: Project Managers are Passive.

“In some companies, this is problem number one. I’ve saved it until problem number one, however, because I want to underscore it’s importance.”

There’s a core confusion in organizations between coordination and leadership. A coordinator assists the project manager in the logistical needs and support of the project. “They’re describing the wake at the rear of the boat,” says Patton. They are not project leaders.

On the other hand, project managers are well prepared with excuses defending poor project performance. “One of the most common,” says Patton, “‘This project was delayed due to circumstances beyond my control.’ If it’s out of their control, how could they possibly steer the project around it?”

This week, Patton gives organizations guidance on creating an experience-based career path that supports development of project management expertise in conjunction with project management methodology and maturity. He outlines the importance of credentials and technical background in developing project management, and outlines a plan of project manager promotion based on project success.

“I’m talking about persistence. It’s a very powerful word in our language, and also translates well into other languages. If you fall down, you get up. If you fall down again, you get up again. You always focus on keeping that project moving forward. Never ever, ever give up.”

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