What’s your biggest project management ‘beef’?

Project magazine is looking for new contributors to its monthly Critical Path column. 250-300 words to let off steam about something in the profession. In the past the column has questioned everything from the value of PMOs to banning the term ‘best practice’.

So do you think the invention of strands such as programme and portfolio management is just the sign that the profession not confident in its own skin? Is agile project management just an excuse not to plan? Is it time to accept that the ‘iron triangle’ of time, cost and performance, can’t be improved?  

Let us know if you want to get involved, or any subjects you want us to cover.


Andy Nichols


I love this post Scott, everybody loves to be given the opportunity to have a good rant.

My first personal beef is the time/cost/quality triangle and it's evolution into the time/cost/quality/scope triangle (with quality in the centre and thus not being supposed to suffer). I have no issue with the triangle, I love the fact that quality shouldn't change and is at the centre of the triangle and the other three flex to differing degrees around it.

The only problem I have is when the triangle is abused, cost is put at the centre unchanging, time is unchanging, scope is unchanging, and it's poor old quality that suffers!!

My second personal beef is a terminology one. I'm sorry to tar my American colleagues, but I think this one originated in the US and it is assuming that wrapping up a problem and labelling it as an 'Opportunity' and a 'Challenge' is annoying to say the least. Why not call a problem a problem? We all know it's an opportunity to use our enginuity and may well be a challenge but why can't some people accept that there is a problem? I think it touches on the 'conspiracy of silence' where people don't like bad news.

I'm most interested in hearing other people's beefs and I'm sure there's some out there that are exactly opposite to mine!


Phil Hind

As a freelance Senior IT Project Manager, who has a number of year experience in the industry backed up by continuing academic study, what gripes me most is that some of my clients wont listen to, or take, my advice about Project Management. Surely, the reason they hired me was to get a Project Manager. Why do they then insist on constraining me with fixed deadlines, bugets and requirements and then expect me to deliver a successful project. As PMs we are armed with a number of tools, products, procedures and best practices which we have amassed during our careers. Let us use these and deliver a well planned, organised and productive project for you rather than hand us something which is ill-informed and destined to failure before we even begin.

Rant over.

Thank you for your time :-)    

Therese Nott

It's a great opportunity to input into a subject I'm passionate about! 

As a Project Manager of nearly 20years, my biggest beef at the moment is the label of "Agile" - experienced Project Managers will always be agile (small "a") in their approach, running activities and phases of a project in the way that gets the best results in the time and budget allowed.  Accepted, some methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma are great in the analytical toolkit, but do I really need to label myself as a Agile (capital "A") and be a Scrum Master to demonstrate I can run a projects outside of the PRINCE2 textbook?  Frankly, it makes my skeptical mind wonder if the label simply provides training and accreditation revenue opportunities.

I'll step down off my soapbox and give someone else a turn :-)


Scott Walkinshaw

I can see at least at least four really interesting Critical Path topics. We find that the articles work best when they have deliberately ‘pointed’ questions for the ‘ranter’ to rant against...

How about:

Why have we given up on quality?

Why can’t we bring ourselves to call a problem a problem?

Why are project managers just thought of as hired hands?

Have you ever met a good project manager that isn’t ‘agile’?

Would you be interested in putting something together for Project to consider?

Andy Nichols


I would happily put something together for you on this, let me know which (or all) of the topics you wish me to cover and I'll submit it to you.

My email is on my profile.




My beef is the mislabelling of Project Manager.

To me a PM needs to have some independence from the line management and/or business section using the project output. If the Project Sponsor is your line manager the project is difficult to manage with professionalism/independence. If the project is managed wholly managed within the business section it isn't a project but just a 'normal' business activity.



James Simons

I'd like to reissue this call to action. If anyone has any PM beef suggestions please let me know. A big thank you to all those who have already responded by the way. My email is james.simons@projectmagazine.co.uk 

Deborah Uwadiae

Hi everyone

This is my Project Management Beef

I am currently conducting a survey as part of my final year university project. I am looking at two web based project mangament software - Web2Project and Collabtive in terms of its security and team collaboration functions. I would like to find out if anyone has used either or both software (web2project and/or collabtive) for project management task or if you have any general knowledge I would love to hear from you. I will also be posting the survey questions soon but in the mean time I would appreciate any contributions. Many thanks.