Don’t Expect Technology To Replace Discipline

You can see it all the time: someone subscribes to project management software because they expect it to make them a better project manager. But three months later, the person is dealing with the same project issues. Schedules are overrun, budgets are forgotten, and the purpose of the project is lost in time.

What is really needed when managing a project is discipline. Discipline to follow up on the tasks that need to be done. Discipline to say ‘yes’ to the right things, and ‘no’ to the work that shouldn’t.

All the project management tools in the world aren’t going to give you the discipline you need, any more than having the running shoes makes you an athlete.

Good project management tools can make you a better project manager if you already know what is important. But if you find that you are struggling to get a part of your project in line: start with paper, then a spreadsheet. Once you have the discipline of organizing your work in a spreadsheet, go find the tool that fits your style and exactly what you will need. Once you have the discipline, your tool can amplify what you are doing 10x.

But don’t expect to replace the need for discipline with technology.