Negative impact of 'just do it' culture

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We have all witnessed it, project professionals championing governance and controls one minute and then bypassing it all when a just do it project comes along.

You might think I am being naive and that some projects just cant wait for the full gamut of initiation to begin, but a complete disregard for basic protocols will have consequences for your organisation.

Firstly, it sets a dangerous precedent. When the gateway into the portfolio is deemed laissez-faire, then dont be surprised to receive continuous just do itrequests with vague requirements.

The impact may not be immediate, but you will find your PMs spending additional hours trying to reconcile delivery against nonexistent or vague parameters.

A bypass route will also contribute to a culture where PMs will start to take their own short cuts and will lose faith in the validity of governance and controls.

Here are a few points that have helped me over the years.

Be bold; explain the value of baselining requirements to the executive. Explain the negative impact JDI culture has on the PM community.

Regardless of assurances you have been given on financial coverage from "slush fund xyz, insist on getting in writing specifically where the project will be funded from, or be prepared to forever chase your tail when attempting to reconcile financials later on.

JDI projects usually come in at short notice and therefore dont always have user stakeholders defined. At minimum insist on getting the name of the person signing off requirements and acceptance. Failure to get this may result in continuous scope creep while the PM is sent from pillar to post trying to get clarity.


Posted by Mohammed Badat on 16th Dec 2014

About the Author
Mo’s experience spans the delivery of projects and programmes across numerous sectors, including legal, finance, telecoms and central government. Mo currently works as a Project Consultant for PCUBED ltd, helping clients recover ailing projects and helping them to establish enterprise orientated project and portfolio management discipline. Mo’s key achievements includes helping The Home Office achieve a supplier agnostic IT framework in readiness for G Cloud, and helping RBS achieve greater flexibility by leveraging on application and infrastructure virtualisation. Mo is APM ITIL and Prince qualified and holds a degree in Business Marketing. Mo can be contacted at

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